First Bell Ad Tips

By Kristin Torun, Director, Advertising Sales, Bulletin Media, a Cision company

Know the company you keep. On a solemn note: 2020 -2021 was not only overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic, but also by the misinformation surrounding it; we would be remiss not to acknowledge the professional credibility that is extended to those that advertise with First Bell, which has a reputation among the engineering community that precedes it. We take great pride in knowing that highly educated professionals rely on First Bell as a trusted source of news and information, especially during an anything-but-average year.

Embrace change and stay nimble. In response to COVID-19, a topic that remains ubiquitous in the news cycle, some of our Top Thirty advertisers pivoted from their usual approach to raise awareness of their department’s contributions during the pandemic. For example, one engineering school promoted a “build-it-yourself ventilator,” while another university showcased face shields designed by its engineers.

Fun fact: marketers across industry and trade shifted their strategies to adapt to such challenging and unprecedented times – to the extent that “pivot” was coined 2020’s marketing “word of the year.”

Put your best face forward. Speaking of faces, did you notice that 25 of the Top Thirty ads include an image of a person? That’s not a coincidence. We believe our readers are drawn to ads that feature someone they might recognize from their professional circle. Senior faculty members like presidents, deans, and chancellors are often thought leaders with substantial clout in the engineering space.

Don’t forget our tried-and-true ad design tips. 1) Avoid walls of text and be clear and concise with your messaging. 2) Be distinct with your headline, sub headline, and call-to-action to create contrast that provides a logical flow for the viewer’s eye. 3) Use real images that your target audience will find relatable. 4) Create a visual indication that your ad is clickable.