Industry • Marketing
Sep.01,2020By Cynthia Popper
When asked about the best method for designing advertisements, Leo Burnett, the genius who came up with Tony the Tiger and the Marlboro Man, replied, “Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at.” It’s sound advice for any kind of ad, but particularly when it comes to your spa advertisement.
Whether you’re creating the ads yourself or simply giving an agency direction based on your vision, take your cue from the best spa ads of all time. Follow their example — with your personal twist, of course — and you’ll have a suite of spa advertisements that deliver memorable messages guaranteed to tempt new customers into your business.
According to which research you believe, you have between 2.7 and 8 seconds to attract and maintain a potential customer’s attention, and giving them too much to read is a sure way to send them packing. You want your ads to convey a strong, simple thought. As MarketingLand puts it, “create something that’s useful or interesting to the viewer and doesn’t make them work too hard for it.”
Keep in mind that one ad doesn’t have to serve every audience or selling point for your spa. One series can address the number of awards you’ve won. Another might be designed to deliver a specific call to action, such as a Valentine’s Day gift package. Before you start designing your ads, brainstorm a selection of key points you want to share with a potential audience, then match each point to an ad format that needs as little help as possible to communicate it.
Image Source: Soothe Spa
One glance at this ad for the Soothe, an app that connects clients with massage therapists, is all you need to understand what’s on offer. By using a phrase like “on demand” that’s already understood to mean “on your own schedule”, Soothe removes the need for a lot of wordy explanation, leaving plenty of space for an expectation-setting image. The image also captures the implied benefits of a massage: The relaxed expression on the client’s face is very persuasive. Wouldn’t you want to feel that good without having to leave your home or hotel room? Of course you would, and the ad lets you know that Soothe is ready to make that happen.
Image Source: Orion Spa & Healthcare Centers
This ad for Orion Spa & Healthcare Centers uses few words to describe the experience their spa provides, but four of them are highly evocative verbs. “Escape” implies that you need to get away from whatever you’re doing right now. Making dinner for the kids, going over the numbers of the Henderson account, waiting for your stop on the A-Line — whatever it is, you need to flee, and flee immediately. Why? Because it’s ordinary, and you’re far too wonderful to be ordinary.
Once you escape, you should “treat” your body. Again, the implication is that you’re being denied something you deserve simply for being you. “Treat” also suggests that whatever it is you’ll be getting at Orion, it’s something special, something out of the ordinary. Because remember, the ordinary is what you’re escaping.
Finally, those therapies that you’re treating your body to are “curated to please.” Carefully chosen for you — because you’re special — for the sole purpose of making you happy. Everything in this ad makes the reader feel important and worthy of appreciation.
Image Source: Charmed Medispa
This ad for Charmed Medispa speaks to perhaps the most common reason a customer may not book an appointment: cost. When it comes to countering the price objection, many advertisements will stress a spa’s reasonable pricing, but Charmed aims for a different customer base. The combination of image and words is arresting and asks a very clear question: which would you rather have?
It’s a bold move, but one that turns the pricing conversation on its head. Rather than apologize for their pricing, Charmed defends it, suggesting that a customer’s results are directly related to what they spend. Whether that’s true or not is left to the viewer’s discretion, but there’s little doubt this spa advertisement was successful in grabbing attention.
Image Source: Hand & Stone Massage And Facial Spa
Hand & Stone combines several key ideas in this spa advertisement. It’s solving the yearly problem of what the heck to get dad for Father’s Day. It has a strong call to action (buy a gift card or package) that includes an incentivizing discount. Finally, it speaks to an underserved spa audience: men. It can be difficult to get men to visit a spa of their own volition because they’re socialized to believe it’s not a manly experience. A gift package gives them the permission they need to indulge, and it could be just the thing to create a new customer for your spa.
Video Source: Massage Envy
Your spa advertisements don’t have to be limited to static images, of course. Platforms like Facebook and YouTube are obviously well suited to video ads, but the same “less is more” concepts apply. You want the viewer to come away with a single, simple thought, and in the case of the Massage Envy ad posted above, that message is “Massage Envy is for people like me.”
The ad wisely includes a diverse selection of relatable people who are nonetheless aspirational. Some are obviously athletes, others look just like your dad, but all of them look happy to simply be alive and doing what they do. You could ignore the voice-over entirely and still come away from the ad thinking you want to be just like them. Massage Envy underscores that message with the narration, which makes the aspirational feel attainable. They don’t want you to be something you’re not, they just want to help you be the best version of yourself. And who doesn’t want that?
These spa advertisement examples should give you a solid starting point for sculpting your own message. Think about who you want your audience to be, where they’re likely to see your ad, and most importantly, what your spa can give them that nobody else can. You’ve only got someone’s attention for a few seconds before they decide whether or not they want to know more about your spa, so make those seconds count!