Too many people think all advertising is created equal, but this just isn’t the case. In the industry there are two types of advertising campaigns known to marketeers; brand advertising and direct response advertising. They have very different aims and are suitable for very different businesses.


Brand advertising is exactly that, an advertisement campaign that aims to increase awareness of your brand or product. Type ‘digital clock McDonalds advert’ or ‘ad wars BMW’ into Google images for some great examples.


You can spot a brand awareness campaign because it’s usually being talked about all over the internet. They’re big budget and produced with the sole aim of promoting the name of a business or product, whether that results in sales or not. Brand awareness campaigns allow Pepsi and Coca-Cola to throw money at Britney Spears until one of them runs out of budget.

But how many of us have budget to throw at campaigns that aren’t going to give us a return? Not many. Brand awareness is probably what you think you want, but most likely it isn’t what your business needs. What you need is a direct response advertising campaign.

Just like brand advertising, direct response does exactly what it says on the tin. Direct response advertisements provoke a response from people who pass them. They’re usually built up from a simple image and a clear message, with a clear call to action and potentially an incentive. Instead of being out there for the whole world to see regardless of their age, gender or financial status, you can usually find direct response adverts slap bang in the middle of their target audience. They may sound boring next to brand advertising, but there are clear advantages to this type of advertising.

  • It’s cheaper. Way, way cheaper. If you have enough budget for one brand awareness advertisement you will have budget for several thousand direct response adverts. Which do you think will provoke a bigger response.
  • There’s no need for fanciness. Brand awareness advertisers spend tens of thousands of pounds on the creative agencies employed to give them the wow factor they need to get noticed. There’s just too much competition to risk doing this in-house. Direct response creative tends to be much simpler. It’s advertising you can put together yourself. 
  • It’s easy to track the ROI, especially if you have an incentive. You know how much you spent per ad and how many people responded. Very important if you only have a little budget. 
  • There’ll be budget to test, so you can optimise your campaign as you go along. Try changing your artwork every few months and measure which one had the best response. Make sure to account for seasonal factors, though.
  • You definitely will have more sales if you use direct response advertising techniques. It’s scientifically proven. The elements of a direct response campaign should include;
  • Clear information about what you offer
  • Information to persuade a person to take up the offer
  • A way for people to respond quickly (a phone number or email address)

Think this through next time you are planning an advertising campaign or briefing creative. There are thousands of articles online that can help you, and your rep at CP Media will be able to advise you on techniques that have worked for clients previously.


If you’re ready to start your next direct response advertising campaign call 01422 399 457.

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