I read a lot about radio advertising. I am a radio advertising geek. I listen to radio ads, I read what people write about radio ads and I think a lot about radio ads. I hate the fact that music and presenters get in the way of the radio ads… I turn UP the ads to hear them better.
The listener doesn’t. The listener really doesn’t care about radio ads. And when they do it’s often because they are irritated or offended by them.
When we think about getting commercials to work we have to think carefully not just about the message, but HOW you engage the target market. An attention grabbing siren or voice shouting “Attention! Attention!” is exactly the right way to turn the listen off your message. Listeners are already listening… they may just be passive listeners until you relate your product or service to something that is, or could happen in their lives that the product or service could deal with.
You have to think very carefully about the listener and how they will respond to the message.
Many years ago I was freelancing at a radio station in Leicester, UK. They has a Personal Injury Company that was advertising on air with some very funny commercials. Nicely written, attention grabbing and hilarious. The only problem was, it wasn’t working for them. The thing was, if you’d been in a serious car accident you were not finding things amusing. So I wrote some empathetic, straight voice ads for the client… and used the lovely vocal talent of Nick Jackson.The client said then the first commercial ran it was like turning on a tap… with calls coming in as the adverts were aired. We didn’t have to grab the attention of the listeners, we just had to reach out to the point where they were in their lives and give a compelling reason to call the client.
Sometimes the answer is wonderful creative adverts. Sometimes it’s a wonderfully written straight announcer read.
I have to go now… I think there’s an ad break coming up!