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MikeRaffone
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Hi,

Responses from the parent/family magazines have slowed drastically in the past few months and decided to make the best of it until the contracts expire. Below is my current ad and I am looking for any advice on how to change it to get some responses from it again. The actual size is 2 3/8" x 1 3/8"

http://www.mikepmagic.com/shared.htm

Thanks,
Mike
Mike Perrello
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Marshall Thornside
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I don't see the point of putting Ages 3-300
I think Ages 3+ or All Ages is better.

the title in the bubble works, but I'm wondering
if it really stand out and a bit difficult to
read. It might be better to go with a bold non-serif
font. white on black.

overall the ad looks great.
you will remember my name

World's Youngest Illusionista
7th greatest pianist in the world
Go Red For Women and Stroke Ambassador
www.mai-ling.net
tparrett62
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Hey Mike!

A couple of thoughts...

Number one- your ad is uncluttered, which is good for the ad size, but it doesn't give you much room to work with.

1. No call to action/no sense of urgency. Consider adding a line about "schedule fills quickly, call now to avoid disappointment".
2. Not real benefits in ad/no USP. Exciting, interactive, and memorable are OK, but who is going to say their show is dull or forgettable.
3. Where's the guarantee?
4. I'd drop the ages 3-300. Be a specialist, not a generalist. If you're in a parenting magazine, stress that you specialize in 4-8 year olds. Silly Billy didn't get to be the highest paid bday magician in New York by appealing to everyone.
5. Consider changing the line about live doves to "Live animals appear by magic!". Not everyone likes birds...
6. Instead of reliable and professional, stress how long you've been working or how many parties you've done, ie "16 years experience" or "Over 5000 birthdays and counting..."
7. My most successful parenting mag read "PARENTS! Give your child a birthday party you'll both LOVE!" The word PARENTS was the grabber, and the "LOVE" thing was the intangible benefit. Parents aren't really buying a magic show, they're buying their kid a memory.

Just a few thoughts.

Terry
martin king
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Mr Raffone,

1. At the very top of your ad you should flag down who should respond, e.g. "Attention parents..."

2. "Birthday Party Magic Shows" as your headline is to my mind a deadline. What would be better is "Make your child's next birthday party unforgettable". This part needs to tease the reader to read further.

3. I see your USP is "Exciting, Interactive & Unforgettable". Exciting just doen't work for me, but I really don't konw why(?)!

4. The bullet points should be combined features & benefits; e.g. Live doves that make the kids ooh and aah.

5. "Reliable and professional" should be changed into "Over x years experience and xxxx satisfied clients"

6. For a bigger response, why don't you try to offer a free report..."7 ways to make your child's birthday unforgettable...guaranteed!"

7. There's no call to action!; e.g. "Call today", or, "Go to the website, TODAY, to get your free report e-mailed to you".

I hope this helps.

Warm regards,

Martin
martin king
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Quote:
On 2008-04-29 15:12, tparrett62 wrote:
Hey Mike!

A couple of thoughts...

Number one- your ad is uncluttered, which is good for the ad size, but it doesn't give you much room to work with.

1. No call to action/no sense of urgency. Consider adding a line about "schedule fills quickly, call now to avoid disappointment".
2. Not real benefits in ad/no USP. Exciting, interactive, and memorable are OK, but who is going to say their show is dull or forgettable.
3. Where's the guarantee?
4. I'd drop the ages 3-300. Be a specialist, not a generalist. If you're in a parenting magazine, stress that you specialize in 4-8 year olds. Silly Billy didn't get to be the highest paid bday magician in New York by appealing to everyone.
5. Consider changing the line about live doves to "Live animals appear by magic!". Not everyone likes birds...
6. Instead of reliable and professional, stress how long you've been working or how many parties you've done, ie "16 years experience" or "Over 5000 birthdays and counting..."
7. My most successful parenting mag read "PARENTS! Give your child a birthday party you'll both LOVE!" The word PARENTS was the grabber, and the "LOVE" thing was the intangible benefit. Parents aren't really buying a magic show, they're buying their kid a memory.

Just a few thoughts.

Terry


Totally agree!
Lyndel
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Well, it's no wonder calls have slowed down... Your phone number is scratched out! Smile


Lyndel
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martin king
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LOL!
ClintonMagus
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I would like to see a "performance" name of some sort that sounds like it is created for the age group you are targeting and the personality of your show ("Dr. Goober", "Mandolini", etc...)
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
tparrett62
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Mandolini?
ClintonMagus
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For a fee, you can use it... Smile
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
MikeRaffone
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Thanks for the quick responses and giving me more ideas to work with. A few more months with an improved ad will help determine whether I continue with this means of advertising or not.

Thanks,
Mike
Mike Perrello
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rossmacrae
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Quote:
On 2008-04-29 15:11, Marshall Thornside wrote:
I don't see the point of putting Ages 3-300
I think Ages 3+ or All Ages is better.

If I saw the ad in a parenting magazine, I would be most moved by "Specializing in ages [ages of kids whose parents read such magazines]". So ages 3 through ... what? 10?
MikeRaffone
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The mixed age audience, children and adults is also what I specialize in so the reason for 3-300. How about if I add "specializing in 4-9 birthdays as well as Family shows"

Thanks,
Mike
Mike Perrello
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Marshall Thornside
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The ad is small, and you
want as much "white space"
that will make everything
you say stand out.

those ad's are not cheap,
but if your really pursuant
in getting a good response,
why not having two small ads.

One for specific age bracket with
those mentioned above and another
with other catchy titles.

If you are in two spots in one magazine,
you might be able to get your message
across when readers are just going through
the magazine.

Unless you go a bit larger.
you will remember my name

World's Youngest Illusionista
7th greatest pianist in the world
Go Red For Women and Stroke Ambassador
www.mai-ling.net
jlibby
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Something to consider: I've actually changed my parenting magazine ad to one for kids and family shows, but not specifically birthday parties. The reason: I've gotten several bookings through the magazine for events other than birthdays. You may or may not wish to go that route depending on your own experiences.

See ya!
Joe L.
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Grab your copy now:
https://makequickcashonlinenow.co.business
martin king
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Quote:
On 2008-04-29 20:11, Marshall Thornside wrote:
The ad is small, and you
want as much "white space"
that will make everything
you say stand out.

those ad's are not cheap,
but if your really pursuant
in getting a good response,
why not having two small ads.

One for specific age bracket with
those mentioned above and another
with other catchy titles.

If you are in two spots in one magazine,
you might be able to get your message
across when readers are just going through
the magazine.

Unless you go a bit larger.


I'm ever so sorry but I totally disagree about the "as much white space as possible"!

Some of the best 'lead generation' adverts are the ones that are full of copy and virtually no white space whatsoever. They out-pull the white space adverts head over heels!

Don't want to start an arguement, it's just my opnion based on what I've learnt.

Warm regards,

Martin
Gerry Walkowski
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Mike:

Let me ask this question. What type of response were you getting from your ad let's say back in October 2007 and before that? Were you getting 5 or more calls a month and booking 2-3 shows per month?

If you answer "YES," then the problem might be - get ready for this - the economy!

I'll admit there are some good suggestions on this thread about making some cosmetic changed to your ad, but if people in your area are now paying $4 or more for a gallon of gasoline and the price of food and other things are going up, perhaps (I'm saying perhaps) this is contributing to the slowdown in business in your area.

Gerry
Marshall Thornside
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Quote:
On 2008-04-30 00:20, martin king wrote:
Quote:
On 2008-04-29 20:11, Marshall Thornside wrote:
The ad is small, and you
want as much "white space"
that will make everything
you say stand out.

those ad's are not cheap,
but if your really pursuant
in getting a good response,
why not having two small ads.

One for specific age bracket with
those mentioned above and another
with other catchy titles.

If you are in two spots in one magazine,
you might be able to get your message
across when readers are just going through
the magazine.

Unless you go a bit larger.


I'm ever so sorry but I totally disagree about the "as much white space as possible"!

Some of the best 'lead generation' adverts are the ones that are full of copy and virtually no white space whatsoever. They out-pull the white space adverts head over heels!

Don't want to start an arguement, it's just my opnion based on what I've learnt.

Warm regards,

Martin


its just a general rule in graphic design.
to make text pop out.

white doesn't necessary mean white.
its a general term.
it could be a solid color blue.

its like when people have 5 different fonts.
which is also wrong.

this is the stuff you learn when you are an
ad designer ... I used to make an ad full of
copy and no white space and I was told why
not to do it. it was also what made the newspaper
I worked for the top award winning paper for Ads
in the state.
you will remember my name

World's Youngest Illusionista
7th greatest pianist in the world
Go Red For Women and Stroke Ambassador
www.mai-ling.net
Donald Dunphy
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Food for thought. (I think I picked this up from a Dan Kennedy book.)

Remember that top award winning ads, aren't always the ones that produce financial results. Some ads that have won awards, were big flops (financially) for the companies themselves.

People often use the arguement of doing what the award winning designers do. But I'd rather do what the result-getting designers do.

I like white space. I just am not always influenced by the wisdom of award winners.

- Donald

P.S. Mike - you have 15 words in your current ad. Try to think about the most powerful 15 words you could use to replace those current 15. Also, you might be better off with a photo of kids reacting (example - a child laughing) as opposed to a photo of you, in your ad.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
tparrett62
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Quote:
On 2008-04-30 04:22, Gerry Walkowski wrote:
Mike:

Let me ask this question. What type of response were you getting from your ad let's say back in October 2007 and before that? Were you getting 5 or more calls a month and booking 2-3 shows per month?

If you answer "YES," then the problem might be - get ready for this - the economy!

I'll admit there are some good suggestions on this thread about making some cosmetic changed to your ad, but if people in your area are now paying $4 or more for a gallon of gasoline and the price of food and other things are going up, perhaps (I'm saying perhaps) this is contributing to the slowdown in business in your area.

Gerry


Gerry-

I agree with you to a point, especially since folks who are looking for entertainment in the family/parenting magazines tend to be price shoppers. However, for Mike's purposes, though, I'd take 2 other things into consideration before writing it off to the economy-

1. Don't compare April 08 to anything except April 07 or April 06. Different markets are seasonal- in different parts of the country, busy seasons run differently, so I'd only compare a month to the same month in previous years. For me to compare April 08 to October 07- very busy month with Halloween shows- would lead me to be VERY disappointed.

2. Since he doesn't list prices in his ad, it's hard to say if the economy is the reason. I'm sure we've all had callers who had literally NO idea of how much a bday party show costs, so they have no way of knowing if it's in the budget or not.

Here's something else that just popped into my head. Non-economic factors external to the ad....Mike- did the magazine make any changes in your position in the magazine, ie from front to back, or top to bottom of the page? Did any new competitors start advertising with a more compelling offer? Switch formats or content? If you have a copy of the magazine from when the ad was pulling vs today, see if you can spot any other factors that may have changed and impacted your ad's effectiveness.

I'm not trying to be argumentative. You may well be right Gerry- it's pretty obvious there's some major problems with the economy and that may be it. I just think he should tinker a bit before he assumes the worst.

Terry
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