How To Make An Ad For College Students and 12 Reasons Yours Didn’t Work

And a few simple hints that can make it 100% more effective.


There are a lot of excuses about why print doesn’t work, but the fact is, when used properly, print can be one of the most effective vehicles to deliver students to your business.  Here are 12 reasons why your ad may not have worked:


1.  It wasn’t designed to drive students to your website and social networks. 


Hint: Use Print to build your social networks so you can communicate with students FREQUENTLY and FOR FREE.


2.    It didn’t resonate as being Real with the students.

Hint: Ask and answer these four questions to sound and be real: 

  • What are you trying to sell me?
  •  How much will it cost?
  •  What’s in it for me?
  •  Why should I believe you?


3.  It wasn’t Simple and Cool.


Hint: Remember this formula Clean + Simple = Cool.


4.  The headline didn’t capture their attention.


Hint: Students won’t read past the headline.  Put the benefits up front and keep them coming.  This old-school rule by David Ogilvy still applies: “If your headline doesn’t promise a benefit, you are wasting 80% of your money.”


5. The ad didn’t grab their attention in “two seconds.” 


Hint: Get to the point quickly! Students’ first question is always “What’s in it for me?”  Fire your biggest gun first and fast.


6. Photos didn’t match the message.


Hint: If there is no connection, students won’t get it, and they won’t read your copy. 


7. Students didn’t know what to do. There wasn’t any call to action or sense of urgency. 


Hint: Here are 5 Calls to Action to create a sense of urgency to act now:

  •  Get this FREE on our website today.  There are only 25 left!
  •  Money Back Guarantee. No Questions Asked.
  •  Get It Now!
  •  Order Now and Receive a Free….
  •  Call Today


8. Students didn’t have a way to try before they buy. 


Hint: Provide them with exclusive information, pictures, and videos; give them sneak peeks at new products; and hook them up with free stuff they can talk about and share with their friends. Then they will become enthusiastic customers. 


9. You didn’t answer the question all students ask: “What’s in it for me?” (WII-FM)


Hint: Simply putting the word YOU in the headline will increase your response.


10. Your ad didn’t push their buttons


Hint: Your ad was talking at them, rather than talking with them. Seek to understand the students and what makes them tick by spending time in their environment.


11. You hoped your ad would be a one-hit wonder.


Hint:  Frequency and visibility are two of the most important things in advertising.  It takes at least three months of continual advertising to get people to act on what they’re seeing.


12. You had them, but you lost them. It actually did work, but because you had poor tracking, you didn’t know. 


Hint: Put measureables in place to make sure you capture the true value of the ad.




For more information on reaching college students give us a call! We look forward to speaking with you! 512.480.0893