I should preface this post with this: my ads ultimately serve the client and what they want. Sometimes that means compromising my vision of what advertising should be. However, sometimes I'm able to to do both, advertise with my approach and serve the client. Those are my favorites. But I also understand that my clients have their own ideas, and sometimes I'm the guy who makes those ideas happen the best they can. They trust that I can execute their vision. I'm cool with that.
I have a theory, because that's all advertising is, theory. Nothing I do can ever be completely proven, but occasionally you can see effects of it in sales and awareness. If done right, advertising seems like a gust of wind making ripples in pond. I know that sounds very zen, but it's true. People react to advertising best when they can't see it clearly and it doesn't feel like advertising.
That's why when I write an ad there is more to it than telling the audience what a business is offering. If you just tell them what you are and what you do you've missed the point. You have to give them a reason to care, a reason to visit your establishment. Tell them why they need you, and make it personal. For most people that goes deeper than value.
I'm a firm believer that value isn't enough to get people into a store. Sure, you'll get some customers but that's likely just being on TV or radio in the first place. The residual effect of "top of mind awareness", but all that does is push a person who was already going to go, into the store sooner. What you really want to do is show people who don't care, why they should care, how it effects them day to day.
Here is an example:
Here at Johnson Auto, we have the most efficient, durable rigs available. And if you're looking for a great deal, you get one with no money down and no payments for a full year. Drive away your new car or truck from Johnson Auto today!
It's a great value, no money down, no payments...but it's hardly persuasive. Great, if I want a car I'll go there and maybe get a good deal. I have no idea what they value or what kind of service I'll get though and most of all, they don't have ANY personality. I would rewrite those two lines like this:
Sure, Johnson Auto has vehicles that will get you from A to B, and you'll be able to find a deal you can tell all your friends about, but we're more than just that. Just like you, we like to feel the wind from an open window and the control of a rig that just feels...right. Johnson Auto, stop by and we'll go for a drive.
Granted, it took me a LOT longer to write the second bit than the first, but it feels better to me. When I read it, it tells me what kind of a place Johnson Auto is. Suddenly, I feel like they value me over my money. They're more interested in giving me a vehicle that feels right than anything else, because that's what they care about too. That's my reason, that's why I'll shop there.
To the point: Don't just tell your potential customers what value you offer, give them a reason to step inside your door, hit them where it matters most. In the gut, with emotions.