Every day we are assaulted by terrible advertisements -- stories that don't make logical sense or are lazy, ads that lie or don't have anything to do with the brand.

One of the biggest motivators for our account team at The Odyssey is to help ensure readers and brands steer clear of lousy advertising. But the truth is people actually like to think, and will gladly engage with a message that resonates with them.

We have found the following three types of ads to be most effective with millennials, but the techniques behind the ads could be just as effective among the population at-large.

1. Clever

Funny advertisements are all over the place, but there is a difference between people enjoying an advertisement and the ad accomplishing its job. Clever advertisements are ones that are not only humorous, but also align with the message. If the ad fulfills both, consumers will say, "Did you see Dodge's commercial?" instead of "Did you see that commercial with cute animals?"


Here's another clever and relevant promotion from Schick Hydro:

2. Insightful

We're all naturally curious and interested in learning new ideas or concepts, especially those that make us think about what we believe and how we act. Advertising also can create this type of "aha" moment. If your brand is behind this new idea, the potential impact is limitless.

3. Feeling

In the words of Maya Angelou, "People will forget what you said, people forget what you did, but people will remember how you made them feel." The same goes for a brand. If you can create a message that aligns with your company's mission, people will feel good about doing business with you. The most powerful decision is an emotional and intellectual one. If brands can get consumers to 'feel', they've successfully won them over.

Here are four tips to keep in mind for creating an ad that will really resonate:

  1. Tell a story that aligns your product and values.
  2. It's better to say less and be heard than to say more and be ignored. Ever heard of TLDR (too long, didn't read)?
  3. Own who you are. There is a reason that "authentic" is a huge buzzword in the industry right now. The more crowded the space, the more important it is to stay true to who you are. It's the best way to rise above the noise.
  4. Stick to your guns. Gimmicks will come and go, but if you remain focused on the values that resonate with your customers, they will stay close to you.
Published on: Apr 21, 2015
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.