Is it just me…

I could get myself into trouble. But this is where I’ve found an example of when “Award Winning” commercials are probably not the best advertising. I don’t like to pick on individuals, but I found this website…

Now I got worried when I saw…

“At Flying Brick Radio, we make the kind of funny radio commercials your uncle insists on describing at Thanksgiving dinner. Writing and producing funny radio campaigns is our specialty.”

As I’ve said before, “funny” should not be the objective of the commercial. “Compelling” or “effective” would be much nicer.

But after looking at their list of awards I thought I might be in for a treat.

Fly Brick Radio do have some excellent ideas… but I have lots of criticisms. OK. I know, it’s easy to sit here and throw bricks, but if you lay your creative work bear by putting it up on a website, be prepared for it! One problem seems to be, they have to fit their ideas into the US “standard” spot length of 60 seconds.

Have a listen to the Flying Lube one. To start with a great idea, and use of eidetic experience. But it just goes on too long… it’s at most a 40 second idea! And it even drizzles off at the end. Shame… no punchline, or strong resolving… just a long music tail.

Operation Lifesaver “Common Sense” you have to struggle to keep up with it. A great example of where the creativity out weighs the message. Just too much. This is a great example of where I can here a series of 20 second spots, but they’ve put everything into 60 and drowned the idea.

Utz Potato Chips “Anchorage”… again a gem of an idea. But we spent to much time to give the joke… which in this case seems to be Alaskans are stupid. Riiiiiiiight!

My impression is that these guys are trying to be funny first, and not thinking about how to communicate an effective message.

But I could be wrong! What do you think?

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Never Ever Lie In a Radio Commercial.

I was taking a brief from a client. I asked my usual question… “why should people come to you?” He thought about it for a moment and then said “There’s 50% off everything.” I asked him “Really?”. He answered “No, but if I say there is, it’ll get people down here and then I can sell to them.”
Aside from the moral corruptness of his attitude, it’s also business suicide. He would cause so much ill feeling that people would stop coming to him, tell their friends not to go, and possibly involve authorities like Trading Standards.

I think it was David Ogilvy who said “Tell the truth, but make it fascinating”.

You don’t have to find a “U S P”… a Unique Selling Proposition… you have to find a CSP.. a compelling selling proposition. It doesn’t have to be unique, but it should be something your competitors are not talking about. Own that in the mind of the listener. In Kenya everyone associated Safaricom, the mobile phone operator with per second billing. They were NOT the first, but they were the first to talk about it.
You can be first (It’s better to be first than to be different Reis & Trout), but always be truthful.
Find reasons for the listener to do business with you, and avoid the clichés.
“We’ve been in business X years” Why should the listener care?
“We offer great customer service.” In what way? How is it better?
“We’re simply the best.” So is Tina Turner.. now, in what WAY are you the best. Prove it! And show me why the listener should care and believe you.

If you make an offer by word of mouth, through your radio advertising and the customer is delighted, you will also have created your second wave of word of mouth advertising. Delighted customers (especially in this world of blogs and forums) tell other potential customers about their experience doing business with you.

Never lie! OK Bill?

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