To grow your brand, you have to create ads that command the attention of customers. You know this. But do you know how to do it? And yes, grabbing attention is getting more difficult.

So let’s take a look at headlines that are grabbing attention. They are bold, brash and cut through the normality of general advertising. Marketers not only have to appeal to customers on an emotional level, you also have to speak a truth that resonates with your audience.

Take Alysia Lewis for example. The aspiring young copywriter recently sent a job application with the headline: Your Agency Hates Black Women. Not only did this grab the attention of the ad agency, but the entire marketing industry!

Grabbing attention v controversy

There is of course a massive difference between grabbing the attention of customers and being controversial that it causes a media ruckus. The recent Audi ad that likened buying a car to choosing a wife is a good example of an ad campaign backfiring.

If your branded ads are going to grab the attention of your audience, they still have to be relevant. How people feel about your ad should still be the number one focus. Here’s one that did work:

The 2011 Benetton ad of Barrack Obama kissing the former Chinese President, Hu Jintao was shocking. It grabbed attention. But it also cut through the political culture of creating hatred to promote hope for peace. Benetton’s are masters of controversial ads.

I decided to use this image as the cover of this article. Was it the image that made you click on the link or the headline?

Why brand ads need to be fresh

We live in a society that is primed to be politically correct, cautious and diplomatic. However, this softly-softly approach and egg-shell attitudes simply are not appealing in an ad.

When consumers hear the same message over and over again, it means nothing. So they do nothing. Consumers have been let down too many times to fall for turgid marketing campaigns.

I guess you’re thinking how you can make your brand ads bold, fresh and captivating. Brand Development can help you with marketing campaigns if you need inspiration and experience.

In the meantime, check out these inspirational ideas from the Canva design school. They may help the creative juices to flow. Just remember, keep your ads relevant and appeal to the pain points of your audience.