How Many Ideas?

How many different ideas can work in a piece of commercial copy? According to an old advertising saw: just three. That means three main ideas, each supported with benefits for the consumer.

Advertisers often feel they are paying a lot for production, so they may as well get their money's worth. They will keep adding very important points until they have a confused 75 second spot.

It's easy to get back on track if you realize that an interested listener or viewer might remember three things from your message. If you include 15 ideas, the listener gets to choose the three to remember. If you present three well-supported claims, you choose which three.

Who would you rather have choosing?

If you want an image spot, brag about the three most important ways the world benefits from your company. You can run that spot on and off for months. Then when someone needs you, they'll know you.

If you're having a sale, don't tag the image spot with a call to action, make another spot. Then you'll have the time to tell people what's on sale, how great a sale it is, and where you are. If a low price appeals to someone, do they really care that you've been a pillar in the community for 85 years?

Don't let just anything into your commercials. Make each message count by sticking to the point.