It’s not a sneaker… It’s a prescription
for better health…
Every company that makes a product has to decide how to market that product. It can be as basic as, “Our product is the cheapest one on the market.” And they market the product to everyone. Or…
You can give your product very specific benefits, not found in the competition. And instead of marketing it to the masses, you can tightly focus on a specific target market.
When you do that, you eliminate much of your competition. And can often sell your product at a premium price. And that’s exactly the path The Gravity Defyer sneaker takes…
Various versions of this ad have been running in lots of different publications lately. At the bottom of this post, you’ll see two other versions of the ad. All similar, but different.
…This ad, for the Gravity Defyer sneaker, isn’t really selling a sneaker. It’s selling the health BENEFITS of what the sneaker does. Heck, it reads more like a pharmaceutical ad than a typical shoe ad.
And that’s something most makers of products have a hard time doing. They assume, just because they make a common product (like a sneaker, or wallet, or glove, etc.) that’s what it should be sold as. And that’s great, as long as you have a hundred million dollar advertising and marketing budget.
But, if your product has a unique benefit, like this sneaker does, then you differentiate yourself from the competition. And you focus in on a very specific target market. A Market that is often willing to pay more for your product over the competition.
With the Gravity Defyer, everyone who has trouble walking, pain in their feet, or wants to walk faster and easier, will want this shoe, over the competition.
And it all starts with the headline. It has nothing to do with performance, or fashion. It focuses on the health benefit…
Imagine living Pain free… Imagine feeling younger and being filled with energy.
If it wasn’t for the photo of the sneaker, this could be an ad for testosterone or some other miracle drug or cream.
Underneath the headline there’s a list of specific benefits of this shoe. And then a great piece of “proof: “Over 500,0000 sold World-Wide.” This is important…
Most people probably never heard of this shoe. But if it’s already sold 500,000, it’s got to be legit. And notice, it says “500,000” not “500,000 pairs.” I’m betting they sold 250,000 pairs of shoes. But 500,000 sure sounds more impressive.
That’s a clever way to present your sales. Keep this in mind when you’re promoting the number of items you’ve sold. Is there a more impressive way to present the numbers?
Then we have a massive photo/illustration of the shoe. And since the inner workings of this shoe are some important, there’s an illustration of the hidden springs. This does two things:
1) It makes the graphic much more interesting. It’s not just your
typical sneaker shot.
2) It shows there’s more to this shoe than the eye can see.
Makes the sneaker look more high-tech.
And there are callouts all around the image, giving specifics of what’s in the shoe. This is the one part of the ad I thought could be stronger. These callouts aren’t too benefit-oriented. And a bit too technical.
For example, instead of saying “AVS3 Ventilation System” (what the heck is that?) They could have written something like “Patent pending AVS3 Ventilation System let’s feet breath 3x MORE than any other brand.” Or “No-sweat ventilation system, let’s feet breathe naturally.”
And what do “Secure heal counters” do? I don’t know. And neither does anyone reading the ad. They should have worded with a strong, easy to understand benefit.
There are two more illustrations on the left side of the ad. You see, the function (as opposed to the fashion or brand name) of this shoe is important. The ad needs to get the point across how this shoe works to give the user better performance.
And each illustration has a benefit-driven caption underneath it. “Eliminate pain” and “Reduce fatigue.” Two very specific health benefits anyone who has pain while walking wants to see.
Also notice that each illustration shows the shoe in “movement” as opposed to a static illustration. In addition to being more eye-catching, these illustrations give some idea as to the performance of the shoe.
If you’re thinking to yourself, “Wow, that’s an awful lot of work and time and effort that went into these illustrations…” You’re right. But this attention to detail is why ads for this shoe are running in national magazines, and your ads are not.
Almost everyone takes the easy way out. Sure, one illustration or one fancy photo is easier to do. But if you really want to sell your products, you need to give as many details as possible in the space allotted. Remember this vital point whenever you create an ad…
Not everyone will read your ad or care about the details. ONLY BUYERS READ EVERY WORD. So give your potential buyers the information they need to make the purchase.
Now we get to the bottom part of the ad and the subhead, which plays off the headline. Remember, when you state something in your headline, make sure to follow-up on it in your copy.
And underneath the subhead are more great benefits. But notice, they’re asked as a question. But the answer to these questions is almost definitely a “Yes.” Seriously… if you’ve read all the way to this point of the ad, it means you do want to walk faster and without pain.
Some marketers and writers don’t like asking questions in their advertising. However, if your strategic about it and know your audience, and ask the right kind of questions, they are very effective in getting the reader to nod yes and go along with your sale’s pitch.
And look what we have here…
Gravity Defyer Banned from Athletic Competition?
This is very similar to the strategy used in the fishing lure ad and the golf ad. It hints this shoe’s (fishing lure, golf club) performance is so superior to the competition, it gives you such an unfair advantage, it may be banned.
Of course, it doesn’t come out and claim it will be banned. It hints, in the form of a question, it “may” be banned. Big difference. Of course, there’s never been any talk of this shoe really being banned. If there was, you can bet they would have told you the specifics in the ad.
The ad goes on to talk about the “VersoShockTM Reverse Trampoline sole.” This is a term the shoe company invented to make its technology look special. No other shoe company can claim this because, until the Gravity Defyer made it up, it didn’t exist!
So now, instead of competing with other performance shoes, they have leapfrogged past them. No other shoe can claim they have this revolutionary trampoline sole.
Underneath the first column is the Gravity Defyer customer Survey Results. This impressive looking chart shows how happy and satisfied many of the users of this shoe are.
The ad goes on to focus on all the pain relief and help you’ll get with this shoe. They really do a great job of positioning it as a cure-all for whatever ails you.
And for good measure, they have a quote from a doctor. Not only does the doctor recommend the shoe, he wears them himself.
Competing manufacturers of similar shoes will have a tough time positioning themselves as the ultimate pain-relief shoe when compared to this one.
Finally, there’s the offer and ordering instructions. I just want to point out one thing. Since this is a direct response ad, there needs to be a way to track it.
You see, this ad (and versions of it) has been running in tons of publications. So you need a way to figure out which ad is getting the most calls, so you can determine which ad is the best. In this case, they provide a “Promotional Code.” So when you call in your order (or order online) this specific code is unique to this ad. It’s a simple way to track your advertising so you know what’s working best.
So, how can you use what you just learned to sell your product?
1) Before you even pick up a pen to write, determine who your
target market is and how you’re going to position your product.
In this case, the advertise is targeting people with pain
when they walk.
2) When you’ve decided how you’re going to position your product,
don’t hold back. Go full force. Don’t worry about everyone outside
of your target market. Your product isn’t for them. Focus only on
your market and what they want.
3) If there are unique aspects to your product, how can you best show
them visually? If you need multiple photos and/or illustrations,
create them. And pay attention to detail.
4) When you use a photo or illustration, use a caption under it
or next to it.
5) If you have impressive statistics, can you show these statistics
in an interesting graph or display? Not only does this make
the stats easier to read, it looks more impressive and official.
6) Do you have a testimonial from an expert in the field? Can you
use his or her photo along with an endorsement or quote?
7) How will you determine if the ad is working? Make sure you have
a tracking mechanism in place. It can be a unique phone number
for each ad, or a tracking code.
OK, another ad reviewed. What do you think? Oh, and here are two other versions of the same ad…