The CHVMC-B Formula for Great Ads
CONTRAST – HEADLINE – VISUAL – MESSAGE – CALL TO ACTION (CTA) – BRAND
Today we will be learning a practical formula you could use to analyze the ads you are seeing every day, in a smart way!
By the end of this article, you will learn:
- 6 critical points that are highly important in any type of AD, when it comes to performance (Please keep in mind that this is from a creation standpoint – reason why the landing pages of the below campaigns are not part of the formula in this analysis);
- To spot GREAT ADS & POOR ADS in an ocean of content;
- How advertisers are using COPY & GRAPHICS to capture your attention;
The CHVMC-B Formula for Great Ads
- CONTRAST – Capture your audience’s eyes using great color combinations to make the text easy to read and easy to stand out on a web page; Remember your AD is not viewed standing alone on the web, but in a sea of side content;
- HEADLINE – Hook people’s attention; Use a captivating headline that tells people exactly what they’ll get if they continue reading. Always think of the HEADLINE as if people will not read the rest of the copy;
- VISUAL – Visualize your AD after you finished the COPY and translate it as best as you can in a visual way. Your AD should be a visual translation of any of the following: 1) The product/the service; 2) The mood or the experience your product/service is creating/ 3) The person your service/product is targeting.
- MESSAGE (ad description): Make the best features of your product/service matter! Use the description text to highlight the best features. This is where you sell your product/service IF you have succeeded in capturing your audience’s interest through the headline. Important to keep in mind: A brand’s voice or slang should also be properly infused into an AD’s message. Especially if it speaks to loyal customers, a well used tone will immediately make the avid readers recognize their favourite brand and turn their attention toward learning more.
- CTA BUTTON: Call people into taking action! Don’t make them think, tell them straightforwardly what to do: Our brains are wired to save as much energy as possible. Any text/copy that requires an effort to be decoded, understood, or translated, will have fewer chances of being consumed and processed.
- BRAND: Brand your ad properly. Branding is the longest form of marketing investment. First: You raise your product/ service’s chances to be purchased with less marketing investment by multiplying the touchpoints where your brand is placed. Second: The frequency with which your brand is seen and associated with its core features/benefits is the second thing you should consider when it comes to long-term investment iny our brand awareness.
TIME TO PRACTICE
Let’s use The CHVMC-B Formula to analyze 3 ADS that were displayed today in my web feed.
To help you understand better how color contrast work, I am going to screenshot some of the web page context as well.
#1 ORANGE AD – MOBILE COMPANY
- CONTRAST – Good. You can easily read the text. You can easily spot the ad on the web page: Plain black background with white & light orange text makes it quite visible in the web page context.
- HEADLINE – This summer is on Top! The headline can use a better copy. It doesn’t tell you what the ad is about. A great headline would highlight either a need, a pain point or a desired mood/experience: something that people wish to achieve or obtain. Always think of your ads as if they are seen for the very first time by your target audience. Think that people don’t know your brand, they don’t know what you’re selling, they don’t know what’s in it for them, and you have to tell them and be as clear as possible about it.
- VISUAL – A coaster, a luggage, and a percentage sign. We can assume the Top in the headline is related to the coaster but the visual is still missing the spice factor. If you would be seeing only the headline of the ad and the image, would you say is it appealing and clear enough to make you interested enough to learn more? We are seeing hundreds of ads daily and if they are not attractive enough, you’re loosing your audience in the attention race.
- MESSAGE: The best summer offers, up to 200 EUR discount, only in the online store. Now the critical questions: What offers? What are they for? How are they helping me, as a customer? People are skimmers, if we don’t tell them straightforwardly what’s in it for them, we lose them. This campaign, in particular, is missing the baseline word in its copy: the product, the MOBILE.
- CTA BUTTON: Learn More. the CTA would be more efficient if the customer would know what to learn more about.
- BRAND: The brand is clean and present in the ad (logo, fonts, colors) no side notes regarding this.
#2 FANTA AD – BEVERAGE COMPANY
- CONTRAST – Good. You can easily read the text. You can easily spot the ad on the web page: Plain ORANGE background with white text makes it quite visible in the web page context.
- HEADLINE – Will you guess the flavor before getting caught? For someone who is seeing this ad for the first time, the specificity of the copy could use some improvements. It’s not a remarketing AD (I am seeing it for the first time) and the message can be considered to be too abstract and unclear regarding what the campaign is about. If it’s a teasing question to challenge the curiosity: Will you guess the flavor before getting caught? I would ask: Why am I getting caught with? Why do I have to guess a flavor? And most important – what’s in it for me as a customer to keep on spending my time learning more about something that I don’t have enough information about?
- VISUAL – The visual is highlighting the product, the soda bottle surrounded by drones, and security cameras, people looking for something. It is a great translation of the message if the message was clearer regarding what’s in it for the customer if they get into the game.
- MESSAGE: No further description here. Just a hashtag #WhatTheFanta – It would be great if the incentive/ prize would have been clear.
- CTA BUTTON: No CTA Button.
- BRAND: The brand is clean and present in the ad (logo, fonts, colors) no further notes regarding this.
#3 SEM RUSH AD – ADVERTISING COMPANY
- CONTRAST – Good. You can easily read the text. You can easily spot the ad on the web page: a plain BLACK background with white & light yellow text that makes it quite visible in the web page context.
- HEADLINE – Watch your marketing growth rise to the stars. It’s all clear and incentivizing enough: If I am looking to improve my marketing campaigns this ad will guide me to the next steps. Great targeting, great messaging, clear to do.
- VISUAL – We might say the ad (rise to the stars) is a metaphor considering the visual translated into an image of a potential celebrity getting out of the car to step on the red carpet, with all the lights surrounding her. However, from a critical standpoint, I would say the visual is too abstract for a marketing platform ad. It would be more appropriate for a fashion brand, an event company or a movie teasing campaign.
- MESSAGE: No further description here.
- CTA BUTTON: Watch your marketing rise to the stars. The ad mixes the headline with the CTA button. Even though, we do not see a CTA button clearly highlighted, the copy is incentivizing enough to make you click on it and find out more.
- BRAND: The brand’s logo is present, and so are their core colors (even though SEMRUSH is using purple and light blue more often than light yellow). What would improve the ad in this particular case it would be a brief tagline explaining what SEMRUSH is, for those who did not have a first touch with the platform yet.
TO SUM IT UP: The order of the CHVMC-B formula matters
- Contrast: Contrast is the first visual hook that captures your attention, whether that is in a digital feed or in the streets. When your see something which is disruptive to your eyes you stop and check it up. It’s the way our brains work to keep us alive: whatever seems to be unusual to the natural environment we live in gets checked and verified to make sure it’s not a threat.
- Headline: After your eyes stoped captured by an AD chromatic contrast, the next thing that lead your attention is the BIGGEST TEXT on the ad, which is usually the HEADLINE. This is when you decide if the ad speaks to your needs or not. Is the text realatable to you? If yes, you will continue reading the message, if not, you will move your attention forward.
- Visual: If you decided the AD is for you and there might be something of your interest there, you will automatically check if the VISUAL reinforces the headline. Does it matches what the headline’s promises?
- Message: This is where you get converted to take action. If the advertisers got your attention up until this point, this is where you learn more about the product/service. This is where you get persuaded or not by the strenghts and the benefits of the AD’s product/service.
- CTA Button: If the message sold you to close the purchase, the CTA button is literally just a natural reinforcer of what you need to do to get to the finish line/checkout.
- Brand: If you are seeing an AD by a particular company for the first time, the brand elements will help you remember the company’s visual identity next time you see one of their ADS (IF & ONLY IF the branding was used properly). If this is not the first time you are seeing their ADS, branding goes a few steps above from point 6 to point 2 or 3. That is because when it is used well and with a high frequency in impressions it has an important role in capturing your attention: you will immediately recognize a renowned brand by its colours/ fonts/ icons or messages in an ocean of content.
As a conclusion, if you are an advertiser, use the formula wisely, if you are a consumer, now you know at what to pay attention to if you want to asses whether an AD is good or not.
In the meantime, stay around, because we’ll have more assessments coming soon!