Western Digital fails the “Promise -> Deliver” advertising test

I have a theory about what makes an effective advertisement, whether it’s online or in print. I mean, when we’re subjected to hundreds – or thousands – of adverts each and every day, I figure I’ve now seen and heard millions of them, so it’s not unreasonable for me to have spent some time analyzing what works and doesn’t work.

And so my theory: good advertisements are promises. Promises of more happiness, more friends, more wealth, improved appearance, whatever, a promise of something that the advertiser can supply.


Now the second half. If an ad is a promise, the landing page, the place you go after you take the desired action is the fulfillment of that promise, the deliver.

Make those two work gracefully together and you’ll have a high click rate and a high close rate. Make them work badly and you’ve just wasted your ad budget on ineffective advertising without ever realizing what’s going on.

And so when I was perusing Facebook this morning and bumped into this advertisement (though Facebook has the more genteel name “sponsored”) I was intrigued:

western digital my cloud

My thinking: “what is that white device? Looks interesting.”

So I clicked. And here’s where I ended up:

Western Digital my cloud facebook fan page

See the problem?

The promise – at least as I perceived it – was that if I clicked on the graphic, I’d learn more about that particular product. But the deliver, well, that was “here, here’s our fan page”.

Discordant and worse, leaving me frustrated. Had I have gone to a page – or even a specific post on the fan page – that explained the product and the company’s My Cloud campaign, I might well have become a buyer. But instead, I’m frustrated and unmotivated to go further.

If you’re advertising online, take heed: if the promise of your advertising isn’t being delivered by the landing page, you’re wasting your ad campaign.

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