When it comes to effective radio advertising, keep this one simple rule in mind – Listeners will not become educated (about your product/service) by your radio commercial, if they don’t pay attention to the commercial in the first place. In other words…cut through the clutter.
As a business owner, you have so many facts and figures running through your mind that you believe are important for potential clients to know. It’s understandable. We are business owners, and we have a close, passionate relationship with our own business. It’s our baby…our pride and joy. But keep in mind that the average consumer is BOMBARDED with marketing messages all day, every day. Messages ranging from automotive to home builders, physicians to furniture. How do you stand out? Statistically, we can safely say that the most effective radio commercials ever produced started with one simple fact…someone actually wanted to listen to it. With hundreds or thousands of radio commercials running in your market, how will you stand out? The best answer is “stay focused, and don’t be afraid to get creative”.
Before the creative execution of a successful radio advertising campaign starts, the client must step back and look from a customer’s perspective. We have touched on this facet of copywriting and radio advertising strategy many times before, but it is worth repeating – view the strategy of your radio ad from the customer’s point of view. What is the one singular thing that is important to a customer? It may not be necessary for them to know all the details right now. They will get that information from contacting your business.
Good radio strategy starts by determining the one thing you want the listener to take away from the ad. In other words..one thought…YOUR COMPANY = _______. This is the singularly focused message. Maybe it’s safety, luxury, reliability, immediate delivery, low price, etc. You want the listener to associate your company name with a certain attribute. Now, it’s time to get creative. Let’s find out some attention getting way to tell the listener in a radio commercial just how (fill in the blank) your company is. Congratulations, you are on your way to positioning your company and basically creating your brand
This is where the fun starts. Ahh, the creative process. Perhaps you have heard radio or other advertising industry professionals use the phrase” creative for the sake of being creative”. What this means is that a copywriter or producer has tried hard to generate an attention getting radio ad (a good thing), but failed to deliver the all important sales message in the process (no a good thing). Since you did your homework and realized that you want to be known as (fill in the blank), you can now use an infinite number of way to showcase just how (fill in the blank) your business is. Humor, testimonials, case studies, and stories are just a few of the tools used by professional copywriters when generating effective radio advertising. The important item to remember here is that the sky is the limit when it comes to creative radio production. This is the moment of truth where you must grab the listener’s attention.
For example, if my company was a furniture store and I wanted to be known for immediate delivery (instead of waiting weeks for my new furniture), I might create an ad starting with the friendly sales person saying…”all set Ms. Smith, thanks for shopping at XYZ Furniture, your bedroom set is on it’s way right now”…Then Ms. Smith remembers “oh, no…I’ve got pantyhose and underwear hanging from the old furniture”…not expecting such a fast delivery…then fast paced music, maybe a stopwatch ticking, sounds of Ms. Smith racing the delivery truck, making it just in time to pull down the laundry…the door bell rings, the (friendly of course) delivery guys load in her new furniture… announcer voiceover XYZ Furniture, when we say immediate delivery…we mean immediate…and then maybe a quick punch line at the end as the delivery person points out the missed pair of “granny panties” hanging from the ceiling fan.
It’s a rough example, but you get the point. What has happened here? Assuming good voice actors, good radio production and good sound effects are used, the furniture has used an attention-getting, humorous way to get across the one singular focus of “immediate delivery”. Of course it’s an exaggeration, but there are no rules in radio that says you can’t exaggerate the positives in a funny way. Immediate delivery may mean a couple of hours, or later that afternoon, but more importantly it does not mean “three weeks from now”. It’s a humorous story that people can relate to. It’s funny (or at least I think it is ) and there is value for the listener in paying attention. Meanwhile you are positioning your company during this entertaining little story as the store to shop at when you WANT IT NOW! If you were to take the same sixty seconds and fill it up with straight-forward boring copy loaded with radio clichés – friendly staff, quality furniture, conveniently located (if you live next door, maybe), etc…and oh, yeah…immediate delivery – the spot would probably not get recognized (no value for the listener, and certainly would not cement any kind of positioning for the store.)
I could go on and on…but let’s stop here…just remember…keep it focused…and don’t be afraid to GET CREATIVE.