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    Make Your Ad Make You Money

Having a great plan of execution doesn’t get the phone to ring, putting creative in market does. Of course, this means you need to have creative to put in market. If you are starting from scratch, or need a new approach, The Specialist Works can help you develop all new creative for your campaigns. The TSW team works with you on layout, building creative within your company's brand guidelines, or helping you create brand guidelines through creative development.

What do we focus on in Creative Development?

  • Brand Identity
  • Color
  • Product Image
  • Call to Action
  • Clarity of Copy

If you already have ads in the marketplace that are not performing as well as they should, there may be something lacking on the ad itself. TSW works with clients to determine the effectiveness of their advertisements and offers suggestions for optimization.

From the Call to Action to Promotional Offerings, TSW aggressively tests small nuances that can have a big impact on response.


A strong Call to Action is the friend of direct response advertisers everywhere. One of the most important things you can do as a Brand Response or Direct Response advertiser is encourage the customer to ACT.

Bring attention to deadlines. Be sure to include offer end dates, order by dates, or seasonal pricing expirations. Make statements count – don’t bury them in the fine print.

To push the message use starbursts, bold headlines, or color to reinforce the message and make sure it is seen.


Catch the attention of ad weary customers. Do something different. Change your layout to the opposite of everyone else’s. If most ads in a publication or mailbox are horizontal, make yours vertical, or vice versa. Being different makes it more difficult to ignore you – consumers’ “training” to ignore is thrown off.

Size DOES Matter! Running an oversized insert makes your offer stand out. It may even literally hang out of the package. A non-standard size can make people stop to check out your offer. Die-cuts and unusual shapes create interest as well.

Production Quality


Ideally, formats need to be simple yet interactive. A single sheet or 2pp insert is the most recommended in the market. It is the most cost effective format to produce and to insert into magazines. This format also does not push weight restrictions as much as other formats, reducing overall mailing costs. Now, other formats such as 4pp (2 panel) or 6pp (3 panel) pieces can also be just as effective if you fall under certain industries which require more information.

When talking about Direct Response (DR) or Brand Response (BR) the best format is a single sheet. DR inserts focus on an offer and a call to action for a product or service, whereas BR focus on the brand, product or service with minimal call to action offer or information. Both need to be clear and concise on what they are offering and need to interact easily with the customers. Realistically you only have a 3 second window to get their attention.

To help improve customers’ experience, the creative should be simple and easy to read, but also needs to stand out from the rest. Being slightly more innovative and adding perforations or pop out cards for the consumers to keep increases the possibilities of them responding. It sends a message of flexibility as opposed to pressure to redeem immediately. It takes the burden off of the customers to act now and improves their overall experience.

Paper Stock

Paper stock has a significant impact on the experience and engagement the customer has. It can either increase or decrease the customer’s perception of value for the product or service. Heavier paper stocks are more expensive to produce, however they portray a premium product/service as well as reliability. Lighter paper stocks send the opposite message but are less expensive to produce.

Consider also whether to use coated or uncoated paper stocks. Coated (glossy) paper stocks are more common as they are slightly less pricey but they also help the creative stand out on the page, which is key when looking at DR or BR campaigns. Uncoated stocks can give a slightly more formal/sophisticated sense whereas coated papers can look more modern while maintaining a sense of worth.

Contact the TSW US team and together we’ll build a plan that works.