Advert design mistake


This blog post on advert design was inspired by a recent search for a tradesperson. Intrigued? Then please, read on.

I need a roofer to fix a leaking roof. Having already exhausted my search on the internet, I picked up a recent copy of a free publication which gets put through my door to see if there were any adverts from roofing companies.

I usually quickly scan through the publication and then put it straight in the recycling bin. This time, however, because I was looking for something specific I carefully studied every page. I was struck immediately by what a difficult this task was!

As the A5 magazine attracts many small businesses, with limited marketing budgets most of the adverts were only quarter or half page. In an A5 sized publication, this is quite a little space to create an impact and get noticed. The advert design approach adopted by many seems to be stuff the advert with as many words as possible as surely this will convince potential purchasers to give you a call?


I had to concentrate quite hard to work out who was advertising what. Where there were four adverts on a page all I could see was a cluttered arrangement of words with little differentiation between advertisers. These companies did not make my task easy.

An advert needs to attract attention, generate interest, create desire, and prompt action – the AIDA principle. When you’re working with a small space this can be tricky, so focus most strongly on the “attract attention” element.

If you’re planning an advert and it’s a small space, here are some design tips to avoid an advert design mistake:

  • Less is more!
  • Stick to one concise message.
  • Have a short, attention-grabbing headline that summarises your offer.
  • Include prominent contact details.
  • Only include an image if it adds to your message and doesn’t over complicate the ad.

It’s worth spending a little extra and getting a professional designer to create the ad. If you ask them to create a few standard sizes, then you’ll have a bank of professional adverts that you can pull out as and when required.

Sadly, my search was unsuccessful (although I may have just missed an advert), but fortunately, a word-of-mouth recommendation has saved the day!

For help with your advertising, please give us a call on 01395 269791 or drop us an email.