In today's overwhelming sea of advertising, where an ad has to "stand out" and you want to "make it pop," I offer this: make the ad itself a product that is relevant to your customer. Yes, the ad. The billboard. The brochure, whatever. Make it meet a need. Entertain with it. Inform with it. You want your customers to actually want that ad!
Think about the most successful campaigns – they live on beyond their years and achieve celebrity status in their own right. The Budweiser frogs – what the hell did they have to do with beer? Nothing! But people like them! They are entertaining; people want to see them again. People want the commercial. What does the Geico gecko have to do with saving money on insurance? Nothing! But people love him. My kids are thrilled every time they spot him on a sign: the billboard itself is the attraction.
If you don't think your product is entertaining, or that it's not fitting to entertain, then inform with your ad. Give some information away for free, and make it relevant. Make sure the ad informs them of an opportunity they can't afford to miss. The Mac/PC ads are a great example, they take dry facts about computers and make them human. Show your target market that you care about them; have a conversation with them, and they will respond.
Presenting your advertising materials as products will not only attract more customers, but those customers will remember you longer. Also, the quality of your ad work will increase. It doesn't matter if it's a coupon or a spot on Superbowl Sunday, if people want or need it, it's going to be effective!