Who, What, When, Where… then Why.

I undertook the task of analyzing three ads in the classified section of The Daily Targum.  I was looking to see if the posters had effectively communicated their ‘why.’ The ‘why’ is whatever purpose the individual had for renting out the ad space.  The three ads I chose were extremely different in the subject content to ensure that the comparisons were fair.  The first ad I chose pertained to adoption, the next one pertained to a tutoring job opportunity and the third one pertained to a room available for rent. The goal of understanding the good and bad points of these ads is to hopefully understand how it translates to student groups and how they can ensure that they effectively communicate their ‘why’.  Here are my analyses:

Ad #1 – Adoption

“Are you considering adoption? We are a happily married, financially secure, college-educated couple who just celebrated our seven-year wedding anniversary. Our greatest wish is to become first time parents. Lifelong love and support awaits a special baby. Please call/text xxx-xxx-xxxx or email xxxxx@yahoo.com

Analysis: My first instinct when I saw this ad was that it was oddly placed.  I do not believe that a newspaper targeted towards college students is an appropriate place to place an ad of this type.  I think this was a major impendence in them effectively communicating their why.  In addition, the first sentence “are you considering adoption” is vague.  It is not make clear whether they are asking if the student themselves want to be adopted or does the student have a baby to adopt.

I would give this ad a 2/5 in effectiveness.

Ad#2 – Tutoring Job

“START NOW! Tutoring in math, stats, physics, management science, operations research. Kindergarten through graduate!  Former Rutgers professor. Xxx-xxx-xxxx, xxxxxxx@netscape.net

Analysis:  While I understand brevity is important when it comes to a classified ad, it should not be placed over being able to effectively communicate the ‘why?’  What kind of students do you want to tutor? Who will they be tutoring? These two questions are left unanswered and are important because it will help ensure that the people who apply to this job posting will not do it because of the pay but actually be committed to the job.

This would be a 4/5 for effectiveness.

Ad #3 – Room for Rent

“New one bedroom apartment for rent with eat-in kitchen, living room and bath. Available November 1st. close to Busch/Livingston and RU Stadium. $900 (negotiable) including utilities. Please call xxx-xxx-xxxx.”

Analysis:  I believe this ad perfectly accomplished the task at hand—the who, what, when, where and why.  The ad was targeted towards a college student; the individual wanted to fill and open room on campus and gave a range with landmarks that almost every student would know.  It accomplished the first four questions so well that the reader would understand the why.

I give this a 5/5 ranking.

All in all, in order to have an effective ad one must answer who, what, when, where and why.  The best ads however, answer the first four questions so well that their why is already understood.  This translates extremely easy to student groups.  If a group knows who there are, what they are trying to accomplish and when and where they plan to accomplish it, there leaves no room for one to ask about their ‘why.’

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