Just yesterday I got this email from Forever 21 about a new bunch of Mom Jeans that they were launching. I don’t use Mom Jeans and I’m not a fan of ordering online, but the email said: “let’s see how you can combine it” and I just had to know how to combine that jean that I was never going to buy. This, my friends, is what we know as a “Call-To-Action” (CTA) Ad, and here’s a review on the user side of their use in Women’s fashion.
First of all, we need to understand one thing: The only reason for a brand to use a CTA is, as the name says, to call you to action. They are going to use this type of Ad to get into potential client’s minds and get them to do something. This could be something like shop this, sign up to that, learn about this, or pretty much any kind of thing that works for them and, of course, their so beloved clients. When you are a naive web-sailor, you are receiving 24/7 stimulation to do whatever it is that the creators need you to do. Let me show you some examples that I got from our guys in moat.com:
I particularly chose this Ad because, even when it’s text only, they decided to not go for such an obvious CTA. They are not telling you “come give us your money”, they are just making it easy for you to find a store near you so that you can shop there. “Find a store near you” sounds attractive. Maybe I don’t want Urban Outfitters clothing but, if I know where their closest store is, I’m gonna remember that in the next couple of days and might end up buying something from them. I’d absolutely click on this even if it’s just out of curiosity.
Here you can see the most obvious/seen and predictable CTA: Shop now. Hey, don’t get me wrong, it’s Nike we are talking about, they probably don’t need to come up with a bunch of clever ideas to get people to buy their nice swoosh 1‑piece sports bra. Personally, I find this boring and wouldn’t click it unless I really do want a sports bra. I don’t feel there’s anything fun to it nor attractive to an audience that is not currently looking for that specific thing you are offering. I do think it’s a cool picture, I’d like a sports bra that also works as a purse for storing keys and credit cards, but that’s not what we are discussing today. Come on Nike, we know you can do better!
I absolutely love this CTA. Due to the current pandemic scenario, you could assume that “Plan Your Visit” stands for “schedule a time to come so we can make sure it’s not too crowded”. However, this Ad came out in 2018, long before the Covid-19 era started. This CTA makes it seem so exclusive, it’s not a regular clothing store, it’s a very cool and classy one and you need to plan when to visit them so they decide if you are cool enough. Absolutely amazing and I would definitely plan a visit no matter how far I am from Alderwood Mall.
I don’t feel like I have my mind set on this Ad. It’s fine, good enough but I’m not sure if I’d click on it. I think it’s clever to include the “ASAP” because you can take advantage of the holiday rush to get your audience to go shopping ASAP but it seems like they could have taken much more advantage of it. It’s not a bad CTA it just doesn’t seem so very attractive unless you really are looking to buy gifts ASAP.
Finally, we have our unicorns. CTAs that I’d reject immediately but for some reason, I don’t. This is a non-text, non-picture Ad, it has a plain color, the name of the brand, and the classic/boring “shop now”. So why bring it up? Because if you are Burberry you can do whatever you want. This Ad couldn’t be more simple if it tried. However, that’s where their cleverness lies, they know they don’t need any kind of flash, joke, or smartness to get you interested because they are Burberry and they know their campaign targets know who Burberry is. My applause goes to whoever came up with this fantastic CTA Ad, it simply called me to action.
In conclusion, even though CTAs are pretty much always a smart choice, you have to find the correct way to use and choose them. Not every CTA will work for any brand or any type of campaign. Do some research on who that specific Ad will be targeting, find out what kind of person that Ad is going to reach. Is your client to be a teenage girl? Is it a businessman? Is it a long-term fan of your brand? Once you have those basics settled, you’ll be all ready to go create your CTA and I’ll be more than happy to concrete the action.
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See what I did there? ;)