Wishing for an Ad that Works


Advertisements can tell a reader about all kinds of products and services. They are all trying to get the reader to do something, whether if be to buy a product or service, or go to a certain rally to save the rain forests. The effectiveness of these advertisements is heavily dependent on what the ad looks like, its comparison with other ads, and what it says. The Make-A-Wish Foundation advertisement from the April 1997 issue of Premiere magazine is effective in accomplishing its goal.

The first reason this ad is effective is that is it laid out in a way that gets the reader to look at it. The letter with the child's writing draws interest from the reader because it isnt something you normally would be looking for in a magazine. The picture of the girl with the dog at the bottom shows the writer of the letter, letting the reader make a visual connection with the person they are reading about. By keeping it black and white, the advertisers have added a sad tone to the page, making it hard to miss in a magazine otherwise filled mostly with lively colored ads.

The next reason that this advertisement is effective is that it differs with most other ads from the magazine in how it goes about achieving its goal. Another ad from the same magazine shows a Honda Civic with one-liners about different cities and states that you could go to with the car. At the bottom of the advertisement it says Lots of greener pastures. One car. Make it a good one. The Civic Sedan. The Honda Civic ad is playing on the reader's sense of adventure and having a good time, as are most other advertisements in the magazine. In contrast, the Make-A-Wish Foundation ad is trying to get the reader to have a sympathetic reaction to the young girl's situation, and therefore contribute money to help her and others like her.

Finally, the appealing to the readers sympathy is in itself a reason that the ad is effective. The letter is very sad, and the picture of the girl with the dog helps to bring out sympathetic feelings from the reader. The advertisers may have made an assumption that readers of Premiere, which is a magazine about movies, are dreamers or are maybe more likely to have an emotional response than say those of Guns and Ammo. By bringing a sympathetic feeling to a potential donator, they increase their chances of getting a donation, as it may ease the readers mind knowing they are helping to end the sadness.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation advertisement from Premiere magazine is effective because of its layout, its different way of getting its point across, and its appeal to the reader's sympathy. The advertisement is well done and is planned to attain maximum effectiveness for its target audience. Continued use of ads like this one suggests that they are indeed working. When many people see this type of advertisement, they call to donate money, and that is the bottom line that the advertiser is looking for.

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