The Five W’s

At the base of every type of advertisement (whether it be on Facebook, in a newspaper or magazine, on TV or on a billboard) is traditional content. What the hell is traditional content? Simply put, traditional content is the written word, or substance, of the advertisement. While social media has revolutionized the way companies advertise, traditional content remains the core of it all. What are the keys of successful traditional content? While things like originality are important, I think content all boils down to 5 things: Who, What, When, Why and Where.


In any advertisement, it is important to make the consumer aware of who you are. Not just the name of your company, however. You need to be able to connect with the consumer on a deeper level. The companies that most fully understand this might blend their charitable works into their advertising. An excellent example of this is Yoplait and its Pink Yogurt Lids campaign. People walk away from that advertisement with the knowledge that Yoplait is active in the fight to cure cancer. The consumer knows who Yoplait is.


Next the advertiser must show the consumer what the product is or what it does. This is the most obvious of the five, but it takes skill to execute it successfully. One of the best current examples of this is Apple’s iPad commercial. During this commercial we see the wide variety of ways that the iPad can be used(such as “curling up with a good movie”). Afterwards, the consumer knows what the iPad does.


The advertisement should also tell when the product(s) are available (i.e. how long the “special price” lasts, is it “for a limited time”, etc.). We have all seen the commercials advertising The Lion King 3D (which is awesome). In all of those commercials, they emphasize the phrase “for 2 weeks only!” to instill motivation for the consumer to go and see it immediately. The consumers know when The Lion King: 3D is available.


This is perhaps the most important of the five. An advertiser needs to show the consumers why their product is better than the alternative. An example of this is Comcast’s slow turtle campaign. These commercials try to convince the consumers that Comcast internet is the fastest option. After this ad, consumers know why Comcast is the best option.


Sometimes products are only available at certain stores. When this is the case, it is vital to tell the consumer where the product is available. An example of this is Lady Gaga’s second album Born This Way. When the album was released, Target and Lady Gaga had a deal to offer a Deluxe edition exclusively at Target. Because of this, the commercials for the album included the phrase “exclusively at Target”. The consumer now knew where to find the deluxe edition.