|Advertising Resource Center|
Take Your Radio Ads to the Next Level
Most small businesses do not have a high poweredadvertising agency to produce award-winning radiocommercials for them. Most award-winning radiocommercials win for the wrong reasons anyway.
Radio commercials should sell the benefits (notfeatures)of your business/product and should beon the same page with print, TV and billboard. Amajor problem in business advertising today is thelack of coordination of a campaign where all mediaare targeting the same message. The newspaper adsays one thing and the radio commercialdoesn't seem to fit anywhere. Wasted money. Hit'em with the same message across the board and youincrease your reach.
Radio commercials at smaller radio stations aretypically created by the radio salespeople or theannouncers. In most cases, neither are trained atselling benefits. It's your money and youshouldn't spend it on amateurish and/or totallyineffective commercials.
The biggest mistake many business people make isletting the station staff come up with thecommercial copy and finished product. When theyplay it for you, you can tell they really love it.They wrote it, maybe they voiced it. It's me, me,me. They love all the fun they had making it. Theydon't know squat about selling benefits.
Effective radio commercialsRemember Tom Bodett for Motel six? A greatcampaign, it was Tom delivering the benefit forstaying at the motel with a little music in thebackground. Award winning. And Motel Six businessshot off the charts. Benefits sell. Yet few localradio people would be comfortable with a straightvoice Tom Bodett style ad. They want you to feellike you are really getting something for yourmoney. so they produce a grand scale dud.
Here are BIG Mike's tips for better commercials
Don't Do It YourselfYou may be able to write it, after a littlepractice, but don't get fooled into thinking youcan do it better than a professional announcer.The radio people will want you to voice it becausesome of your fiends will tell you they heard youon the radio and you will be convinced radioworks. Phooey. That's an old way to sell ads. Thehigh powered ad agency worked with David Orreckfor several days to get those vacuum cleanercommercials to sound like one-takes.
Avoid two-voice "slice-of-life" adsMany are made by dragging the receptionist intothe studio to play the wife or mother and theresult is something that sounds like the juniorhigh school drama class made it.
Steer clear of characterizationsThe last of the great character actors on radiowas Mel Blanc and he died 20 years ago. An 18 yearold kid trying to sound like a crusty ol' seacaptain doesn't get it.
Don't try humor - it ain't funnyRemember the main reason to advertise, WIIFM,What's In It for Me, that's what they want toknow. Sell benefits. Take a poll, no one caresabout a cutesy commercial, they care about what'sin it for them. Yet, every radio station in thecountry has at least one would-be Bob Hope whothinks he can out-funny the pros. It doesn't work.Consider how you feel when you hear one on theradio. It sure doesn't explain why you shouldvisit the store, unless it is to punch out theowner for being so stupid. Ditch the lame humorfor real substance
90 Seconds into 30 Won't Go.The power of the pause is important in radiocommercials. Too many radio people take youliterally when you tell them what you want in yourcommercial and try to get it all in one ad.Instead, ask them to create several that willrotate on the air. Take your time to explain thebenefits.
Don't buy anything longer than 30 secondsSome station price 60s double what they chargefor 30 seconds, other plus up the 30 rate by 20 or25 percent. Either way, you don't need a 60. Maketwo 30s and get more exposure and save more money.Heck, if you can say the entire Lord's Prayer in20 seconds, you can sure sell your benefits in 30.
Ask for an out-of-market voiceThese days with email audio attachments, manyradio stations share voices around the country.You can get a voice thousands of miles away thatwill do ads only for you. In turn the stationannouncer who would have done your ads, does onefor that station, an even trade. The exchangetakes only seconds, no one does any more work andthe cost to the advertiser is zero.
Be sure your radio ads sell the same benefits atthe same time as your newspaper, shopper and otherprint and billboard ads. Plan your advertisingwell in advance, just like the other parts of yourbusiness.
For more about advertising, get my article "CableAds 5 Bucks!" Send a blank eMail toMailTo:CableAds@BigIdeasGroup.com
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