I love radio ads!

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.

Hurry Darling! The Advertising Messages are coming on soon!


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!

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Buy Shoes From Us… Because We Sell Shoes

When I was a child I used to think I could move things using the power of my mind.
The only reason I couldn’t was because I hadn’t mastered the technique.
I can remember staring at a glass of water trying to make it move.
Eventually I realized that the best way to move a glass of water, it to actually use your hand.

Move! Come ON! MOVE!!!

Radio advertising, for some clients, is like staring at a glass of water. You put something on air and hope that it will increase your business. Like the advertiser this week that gave me the brief… buy shoes from us because we sell shoes. Now, given time (unlike my mind control) it may work and you get customers in because you just let people know you are there. But it’s easier to give them a good reason to visit.

Is it new stock and styles? Is it a promotion on a particular kind of footwear? Is it a sale? Is it an event of some kind (Fab Feet Friday?) People need a reason to walk or drive past the competition. Then apply the “so what?” rule. If it doesn’t make you want to act, do you think it would motivate the listener?

Advertising is about getting results…. Not about image (although it’s important to have and maintain an image) or branding (branding happens anyway, just make sure your ad is ON BRAND). It’s all about getting results. You will not get results by just staring at the customers. Use your hand to reach on and grab them and give them a good reason to come to you. (In this case the hand is a metaphor for your radio advertising). It’s not some kind of magic. Tell people what you want them to do (or react) and give them a good reason to do it.

By the way… every now and again I find a glass, fill it from the tap, and try again… just in case the skill develops with age.

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