In this age of localization, it is now possible to watch TV commercials on nationally famous shows that relate to your immediate area. These are priced affordable to the advertiser, but are also intended to drive ad revenue for local networks that might not otherwise win over advertisers targeting only a limited geographic area.

As a result of this phenomenon, some of the commercials we see are obviously self-produced, as paying for a Madison Avenue ad agency is a bit of a stretch for small advertisers, especially in this economy. In fact, these mom and dad advertisers find paying any agency too expensive.

However, these small businesses may not realize that their commercials can run in time slots where they are surrounded by posh big-city agency spaces, making the amateur nature of their presentations all the more. exaggerated.

Ironically, however, radio and television commercials that often feature testimonials or dramatizations from the actual owners of the business, as well as their children, grandchildren, and occasionally their pets, tend to be outlandish enough in a comical and entertaining way that the ads are really visible regardless of their lack of brightness. The reason for this is that the people who film, record, mix and produce these spots are true professionals – technical artists behind the scenes – who ensure that the spot is successful, despite having home-made content.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for home print advertising. While TV and radio spots have excellent technical guidance from studio engineers, print ads that are created on the desk of someone with little or no experience in composition, design sophistication, or technical understanding of where to post the ad, generally fail miserably in several of areas.

First, the design falls short, and second, the failure of the message. Image resolution and text readability complete the mess, making a hobbyist’s attempt at DIY marketing a complete waste of valuable funds. And with print advertising, you have the added distraction of other visual competition on the page (unless you’ve bought a magazine back cover, for example, in which case if your ad is missing in some way, it won’t). lose a second look.)

There are many parameters to consider when creating print advertising. The type of printing process, line screens, and type of paper used greatly affect print contrast, color reproduction, and registration accuracy. Will the inverted font be absorbed by the heavy surrounding color if the wrong font weight is specified? Will font replacement occur when submitting artwork to publication art department if fonts are not embedded or outlined, leading to copy issues? Were the images sent as RGB instead of CMYK, resulting in no color or no color display? And if the RGB conversions were done without the knowledge of proper color balance, will the portrait photos look too red, yellow, or worse, green?

Newspaper ads differ dramatically from magazine ads in both resolution and readability. An error in one medium can amount to a catastrophe in another depending on the error. Combine these difficulties with the absence of professional hardware and advanced software along with professional experience and proven expertise, and you have the makings of a true fiasco every time. There is no safe haven when it comes to print advertising. And even when you have decades of experience to rely on, the quirks in the publication’s newsroom can derail even the most professional ad, let alone one produced by an amateur.

While print remains the ultimate testing ground, one of my clients produces his own television commercials with remarkable success. A consummate trial attorney by day, he has had years of experience improvising both in the courtroom and in front of film crews as the host of a television show in our region. With a rare confluence of self-confidence and personal appeal, he exudes a sincere mix of affability and sympathy both on camera and off camera, a quality not commonly found in such a forceful person before judge and jury. Clearly, he has a gift that has resulted not only in an exemplary career but in the ability to market himself through radio and television. However, he acknowledges that his skills don’t translate to print, which he admits he knows nothing about (along with websites and, until recently, computers!) And has kept me in the mix for over 20 years. years to keep you on the right track. .

Another case of television and radio advertising in our region cannot be described in such glowing terms. In fact, on the first exposure, my skin tingled as I heard the two voices deliver their youthful message in a performance of a song, tediously screeching in this listener’s sensitive, musically trained, and pitch-perfect ears. Over the years, they opened more stores and added television to their self-marketing repertoire. A highly unlikely success story, they now enjoy great renown despite their amateur marketing or, indeed, thanks to it!

Another radio ad airs annually every summer with the same blatant mispronunciation of a common word by the store owner, showing his ignorance in all his apparel. Am I the only one listening to your mistake? Nobody mentioned it to you … not even your wife?

It turns out that, with enough repetition, the radio commercials that we are ashamed of, whether due to poor articulation, grammatical errors, artificial voice, or obvious lack of refinement of any kind, have become acceptable in their familiarity and folklore.

Sad to admit, though, DIY print ads that are repeated over and over again in an attempt to reinforce themselves with replay continue to sabotage the advertiser after all this time.

There is a common thread within this story, regardless of whether the DIY ads were made for print, radio, or television. Advertisers featured, whether for their talent as an actor and broadcaster, or their scripting, design, and composition expertise (or lack thereof), are all convinced of their self-made success and continue to invest endless funds to post. these announcements to the delight of the benefited stations and publications. Blinded by their egos at the lack of income generated in response, they justify their efforts by how much they have saved in the creative process, making use of their natural talents, instinctive genius, and brilliant business acumen.

While we are ashamed of their stupid attempts to achieve Hollywood stardom, we nonetheless peruse their showrooms, purchase their merchandise, and most ironic of all, we remember their advertisements! … which proves one thing: sometimes you are lucky and even marketing goes wrong!