How to Create Ads That Sell: On-air and In Magazines


Your product isn't always the deciding factor in the customer buying process. The way your product makes them feel often plays a major role in their final decision. This isn't to say that your product doesn't need to be good, beneficial, and useful, but the creativity and messaging of your magazine and radio advertising can push your customers over the edge (in a positive way) and affect their final purchase decision.

When creating effective ads that sell, it’s important to understand the psychology of emotional buying. Your on-air and magazine advertising campaigns should tap into the emotions of your audience and convince them that your product can make their lives better. Below are five pillars of an effective creative campaign that can be implemented, taking your radio and magazine ads to the next level.

1. Know

In order to create ads that sell, you first need to know your audience. Understanding your demographic, their buying patterns, their objectives and most importantly, their pains and needs. Knowing your audience and what their pains or needs are can guide the rest of your decisions and help implement specific strategy behind your advertisement and the decisions you make in the creation and implementation process.

Don't guess or assume you know your audience. Conduct surveys, do your research and analyze what your competitors are doing. Knowing your audience is the key to crafting an attractive message through on-air and magazine advertisements.  

2. Inspire

Radio isn't called "The Theater Of The Mind" for no reason! It's a platform of possibility. Similarly, magazine advertisements start as a blank canvas for creative expression. Harnessing creativity for a purpose is powerful. You want to inspire your audience to imagine how much better or easier their lives would be with your product. Even if you're playing off negative emotions, like fear or frustration, the crux of your ad should inspire an action.

3. Educate

People buy from companies that they trust. In order to create ads that sell, build trust and prove authority in your industry by educating your audience. Education and thought leadership can be achieved through both on-air and magazine ads whether it’s an informational message about trends they need to know or education on how your company makes the community a better place. Also, education on safety and security and how your business tackles those issues can help gain trust. A target audience that trusts you will be more inclined to believe your message as well as keep your company front-of-mind when a service or product like yours is needed, thus leading to more sales stemming from your ads.

4. Connect

Connect with your target audience through a combination of creativity, emotion, and education. Showing that you offer a solution that will make their lives better. On-air advertising and magazine advertising campaigns connect best by elegantly addressing pain points, positioning their products as solutions and injecting a call to action.

5. Solve

Addressing your customers' pains means acknowledging their problems and convincing them through creative and messaging, that you offer the ideal solution. The fifth and final pillar in the formula to create ads that sell is to solve their problems. Obviously, your ads don’t solve their problems directly, but by presenting your solution in a way that connects with your audience, you're bringing the customer full-circle. They see that you understand their pain have the best solution.

Other Important Factors of Effective Ads


It’s important to strive for consistency in your advertising across all platforms. Your magazine and radio ads, as well as ads across other channels being utilized for your campaign, should echo the same message and call-to-action. With a little creative maneuvering, you can mimic the message and content, while catering them to a specific channel. Stick to your brand standards and focus on your message, capturing the essence of the campaign in the senses being used on different channels.

Feed the Emotion

Your creative campaign, whether on-air or magazine, should utilize emotion, or a series of emotions to connect with your audience. Here are just a few you can use when developing your advertising creative.


The future looks bright, and your product can help your audience get there faster and easier. If you're a charitable organization, hope can be used to convey the light at the end of a dark tunnel. Say your company provides clean drinking water to developing countries. Your ads might say, "A Pledge To Bring Clean Water To The Entire World, One Drop At A Time."


Excitement is a great way to get the customer feeling as if you two are in it together, collaborating on a really cool, innovative solution. Tying in FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and the desire to be seen as an industry pioneer, excitement is a great way to get your audience actively engaged and inject a sense of urgency.


The point of your advertising isn't to frustrate people; it's to acknowledge and solve their frustration. Frustration in various areas of their lives is a huge pain point for many people. If you can ease their suffering, you'll attract customers. Radio ads can communicate frustration through the tone that is used, and magazine ads can relay frustration with imagery and text. When your audience connects with that frustration, they will pick up on the message that you can solve this frustration.


Acknowledge your audience's fear without bullying them or shaming them, and you've got a formula for success. You'll show empathy and also foster a sense of urgency. This is particularly powerful if you're a company that deals with safety. If your home improvement company sells home alarms, your campaigns could acknowledge your customers' desires to avoid home invasions. Including statistics in your ads and showing how your product can keep their family safe and sound will establish your company as a solution to this fear.

If you want to create ads that sell and see a lift in your ROI from your magazine and on-air advertising, remember, people will buy from companies they trust, that connect with them on a creative and emotional level, and offer a solution to their needs, wants or desires. Embrace this type of communication when strategizing your next advertising campaign that extends across marketing channels.

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