In seventh grade, my language arts teacher taught me to always consider my audience when writing. That basic principle is just as important when scripting your next creative. We all know direct response spots must have an effective call-to-action, but how to present it and how under or overstated it should be differs by campaign. If you are advertising a product at a lower price point, and perhaps branding is less important, then an aggressive call-to-action (CTA) can be appropriate. Examples include: flashing words or phone number, increased volume of spokesperson or VO, and running time clock or wording to convey urgency. However, if you are offering high level degrees at a university, and branding is of equal importance to the response, the CTA should be toned down.
Some tactics are up for debate -- crawlers (the scrolling sentences reminiscent of a news ticker across the screen) are loved by many advertisers, as they are a quick and inexpensive way to add an extra message to an already versioned spot. Whether it’s a time sensitive event, deadline, or a new feature, crawlers can be added for additional emphasis on the CTA. They do not come without cons; adding any visual to an existing spot can make it look crowded, busy, and downright cheesy. This is especially true if not done professionally and consistently across all versions. If your current creative is a masterpiece, it might not be a great idea to interfere with it. Also, managing the time sensitive messages is extremely important. If your message displays a deadline of January 31, and is on air past then, your company image can be tarnished as careless or disorganized.