J-Lo doesn't need this...

What's in Kim's Mailbox?

Our post-Super Bowl week of ad critiques continues!

There won't be any halftime show, however...or any associated "controversy".

(Although I do wonder how many 50-something women googled "pole-dancing lessons" after watching J-Lo perform her acrobatic feats.)

Speaking of 50-something women, the ad we'll be looking at today is one that popped up in my Facebook feed this morning.

It's targeting post-menopausal women. But it provides a lesson on "calling out your prospect" that can be applied to any market or product.

There's a reason why it immediately jumped out at me (let's see if you can figure it out...)

In my somewhat limited experience with Facebook advertising (I've got successful promos running on Facebook but my clients and the consultants they hire act as "interfaces" so I don't have to deal directly with their compliance nonsense), it's my understanding it's all about staying positive. This ad is doing anything BUT.

Not only is the ad jolting me out of my Facebook feed-scrolling trance with depressing copy like "Menopause changed me for the worse...", it doesn't jibe with the happy, care-free image of the women dancing (I guess that's supposed to remind me that "I miss who I was before menopause"?) 

It's a disconnect. But the much bigger disconnect is, I (a 50-something women) don't feel this way about menopause. And, judging from many of the comments about the ad (some of which I'll share in a moment), many other women don't, either.

However, had they focused on STUBBORN BELLY FAT or LOW ENERGY or other problems that many women in this age group suffer from, they would have gotten more of the right hands raised.

Calling out your prospect is critical. Having a "villain" is important, too...though in this case--since many women have completely different views, both positive and negative, about menopause--maybe it would have been better to talk about "hormone havoc", which can be more of an issue before menopause than after it.

Anyway, with this negative lead and ad copy, I'm surprised it passed muster with the Facebook ad police. So let's take a closer look at the copy when you click "See More"...

And it goes on and on. With at least every other sentence, it's got me saying, "no, that's not how I feel". That's the problem with getting TOO problem-focused in your lead.

The trick (and it's a delicate dance) is to use enough specifics so that the prospect says, "yes, that's me"...without leaving too many out. The words "maybe" or "perhaps" can help with this kind of empathy lead...and not getting overly specific.

This paints such a negative picture, I'd probably would have stopped reading. It almost feels like it was...gasp...written by some young'un with a clueless, ageist image of menopausal women.

(However, we've seen this kind of approach that picks on women's deepest insecurities work before, like that infamous skin care ad I wrote about last year).

So let's force ourselves to keep reading, shall we? It's either that or commit hari-kari.

"Like many 'ladies'"??? Puh-leeze!!!!!!!

This reminds me of a story my parents told about me throughout my childhood. I was one year old, and my dad was trying to feed me with a spoon. I spit whatever it was out. He told me to "Mind my manners and be a lady". My (family-famous) reply?

"I'm not a lady, I'm KIM!"

And I would bet pretty much every one of my 50-something female friends would bristle at being called a "lady", too!

Know your freakin' avatar, folks!!! Oh wait, we're just a bunch of "confused and frustrated" old ladies... ugh.

Okay, in a moment I'm going to reveal exactly what I think they SHOULD have focused this ad on instead of this horrid picture of menopause, which the vast majority of women don't experience--at least every single symptom, anyway.

But first, let's fast forward through the copy and look at a simple lesson you can apply to any ad you write:

The lead-in to this list of unique actions/benefits could be rewritten to be a) less clunky and b) allow for each verb at the beginning of each line ends in an "s" (as in #7). This simple switch makes it seem like the product is doing the work FOR you (reduces, eases, supports, etc.)

I also think some of these lines could be flushed out a bit more with some more vivid words (vs. "manage bloating"). And what the heck is "MenoPot"? I'm assuming it's a menopause "pot belly", but that's not clear here.

I won't be sharing every single word of the ad here. It talks about the 3 hidden menopause-related causes, which could have been hormone-related instead and maybe broadened out the market. It then introduces the different ingredients and then reveals the product as the solution. All of this is done reasonably well.

However, I still maintain they could have done a better job initially of calling out their target prospect if they focused on specific problems like stubborn fat and bloating. Instead, it's somewhat polarizing based on how women themselves have personally experienced menopause.

This screenshot of just some of the hundreds of comments show how while some prospects emphasized with the dire picture that was painted, many of them have not experienced any negatives with menopause...

It'd be interesting to see if they end up trying a new ad and lead for this promotion, based on the kind of comments we see here. Of course, just like in the infamous skin care ad I mentioned earlier, it's not what your market SAYS, it's what they DO.

And that leads me to the one shortcoming I have when critiquing these ads: I don't know their results. I can easily tell if I'm reviewing a direct mail control if I've seen it multiple times in my mailbox, or if I get the same email again and again...but this is the first time I've seen this Facebook ad.

There are plenty of lessons here to be learned and applied to other ads regardless.

That's it for today...look for the next edition of "What's in Kim's Mailbox" tomorrow!

Yours for smarter marketing,


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