How To Create an Effective Print Ad

This advice on how to create and effective ad from  Jay Levinson “The Father of Guerilla Marketing” can be applied to almost all of your marketing.


Here is a way for to create print ads that increase sales by visually attracting the attention of a reader’s unconscious mind. This method is called scan motion.

Businesses are heavy users of print advertisements because initial cost is low and the target market is pinpointed. We use print advertising because we want top-of-the-mind awareness which results in our business being remembered first during the buying decision. Get this awareness by designing ads to have four components:

1. VISIBILITY: The unconscious eye is attracted to ads by these four factors: ad shape (rectangular ads which are taller than they are wide are best), color, graphics and headlines.

2. READABILITY: This is because people do not really read ads, but scan them instead. Scanning begins at the top left of an ad, continues to the bottom right, and stops at the bottom left.

3. THEME: You have but three seconds to impart your message, so use subheads, underlining, boldface, or something to emphasize the essential words along the scan motion from top left to bottom right.

4. STATS: Now, convert attention into a buying decision with you logo, unique selling proposition, business name and any other statistics a reader may need to be transformed into a customer.

If you create your ad contrary to scan motion, the reading of your ad will require additional energy — increasing the likelihood of the ad being ignored.

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