Advertisers use various types of advertising strategies to deliver a unique product proposition and increase brand awareness and sales.

Here are seven common ad strategies that every copywriter should know:

1. “Before and After” Strategy
Use this strategy to show life without the product and then life with the product. Generally, you’d show a negative visual image of life before the product and then a positive one after. This technique helps you show the value and importance of your product.

2. “Advice” Strategy
This is a lateral, “we can help you” ad strategy. Use it to express the benefit of your product or service. For example, you can emphasize that everyone needs to consume protein everyday so you can sell more milk. (E.g Got Milk?)

3. “Empathy” Strategy
Use this strategy to develop the audience’s empathy towards a targeted audience. For example, a non-profit organization can show images of ill children to make people feel sympathetic towards the kids. This approach can help the non-profit organization raise funds.

4. “Testimonial” Strategy
This approach leverages a famous or non-famous consumer to support the quality or benefits of a brand’s product. For example, a professional basketball player can wear a pair of Nike basketball shoes to support the quality of Nike basketball shoes.

5. “Demonstration” Strategy
This type of ad strategy focuses solely on ways to explicitly show the product benefit via a “demonstration.” For example, when Jean-Claude Van Damme performed a split on two reversing Volvo trucks, he was demonstrating the stability and reliability of Volvo trucks.

6. “Competitive” or “Comparison” Strategy
Use this strategy to make either an overt or subtle reference to any differences between your product and a competitor’s product. The classic example is the Mac vs PC commercial where Apple directly compared Mac’s features against PC’s to explicitly show the superiority of Mac computers.

7. “Negative to Positive” Strategy
Use this strategy to turn a boring or negative perception about a product, brand, or market into a positive one by adding an extra or clever argument. For example, VW’s famous “Think Small” ad turned the common American belief that bigger is better, by showing positive reasons for owning a small car, such as smaller bills and parking spaces.

Traditional advertising strategies such as the “demonstration” and “testimonial” remain effective in the digital world. By using the above techniques, one can improve their target audience’s perception towards the brand, demonstrate the superiority of products in comparison with competitors, or even explicitly illustrate the value of their offerings.

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