Dan O’Day is a great, reasoned, sensible thinker on radio advertising. He developed the Certified Professional Commercial Copywriter course for the RAB in the USA (I was the first person to qualify outside of Texas!!)
Here are some of his wise words… Click here.
Most radio stations in the world it’s the Breakfast show that is the flag ship and attracts the most listeners. This is where advertisers, naturally, want to focus their effort. Understandably. But lets break it down a little further. Here’s my typical morning:-
5.45am Wake up
6am into the kitchen turn the radio on while I prepare my breakfast.
6.30am hit the shower and get dressed for work.
7am Catch some TV news
7.45am on the motorbike to work (no radio)
8:05 at my desk with a cup of fruit tea… catching up on mails etc.
Now imagine if the peak of breakfast show listening is at 07:55 and you place your spot there, every day…. 07:55… then every day you would miss me! I will never hear your spot. The same is true of other people’s listening habits across the whole day. Although you want to hit the maximum people the maximum number of times, you don’t do that by JUST hitting the peaks!
So make sure your activity is across the day, and different times during those hours.
Ask your Sales Person for an Optimum Effective Schedule! Have a look here.
Of course I have an issue with the number of times people have to hear an ad to respond… since 3.5, or 3.25 or 4 are just made up numbers! But there is a general feel that, with a good offer, you start to get a good response when the OTH hits about 4 or 5. (Which is why it’s NOT good advertising to be on for just a week!
You HELP by making sure your spot ads tell people what you want them to do, and gives them a really good reason to do it!!
A tranny. The radio, not the boy.
I still listen to a lot of UK radio. It’s not much different to radio here.
And something that I notice about a lot of radio ads…a LOT… say things that you don’t have to say.
Let me explain.
“Come to our open day on Friday the 31st of October 2013”
Oh, I’m so glad you said 2013. I thought it might be October NEXT year. Or perhaps I’d missed it! Come on! You can drop the 2013.
“Come to our store and buy your next pair of shoes from Simon’s Shoes… or call 0787 386 017”
I’ve already written why phone numbers are a waste of time… because no one remembers them. They’re also a waste of time if people don’t buy your product or service over the phone!
www dot? Really?
“Simon’s Rib Restaurant… open every day from 12 ’til 3 and evenings 7 ’til 11.”
Cool, so you’ve told me your open when people want to eat. Don’t waste your time, tell me why my lunch break should be spent at Simon’s Rib Restaurant! Tell me, for example, I can download a free desert voucher… and put the opening hours on THAT if you must!
If you can reasonably expect the listener to fill in these details, then spend the time you’ve saved to entice the listener into doing BUSINESS with the advertiser.
The client is INSISTING on two phone numbers in their 20 second ad.
Because they are putting 2 phone number in, the ad will not work for them and they will never use our stations again.
The Sales exec is terrified of losing the sale.
Other Radio Stations apparently will take the money.
Those stations will get one sale and never see that client again. The problem is it wont be those stations that get the blame… it will be “radio”. It seems easier to say to the client… OK….. whatever you want. But sometimes we need to walk away. Especially from the client who will blackmail the sales person over money, threaten to use other stations, generally throw their toys out of the pram.
If I went to a doctor and asked him to give me different drugs to the one he prescribed, I am pretty sure he wouldn’t do it. Even if I told him that I would go elsewhere where they WOULD give me the drugs and that he’d lose me as a patient.
In radio sales there is a duty to take care of the client’s money because it is an investment. We’re like investment bankers! (OK that’s a pretty poor choice of comparison) The point is we have to show clients the right way to spend their money and when we KNOW they’re wasting it we need to walk away. I’m not saying we slam the door behind us… we want the client, we want their money… but not at ANY COST. We also want their money long term, not just for the one off sale. We want their business to grow as a result of their advertising and for them to spend MORE money with us as a station.
Sales People you need several things:-
• You need to be trusted as someone who gives good advice
• You need training, to read books and do courses in Radio Sales.
• You need to understand the clients business, and show them you understand yours.
• You need to know the name of your afternoon presenter. Really, you should know the product!
• You should work closely with the client to get a good brief.
• You need great Creatives to write you effective radio advertising.
• You need courage and integrity.
Recently I was asked to do a campaign for a UK radio station “dissing” their local newspaper. Being a radio advertising copy prostitute I went along with in. Kind of. But tried to take the sting off it with some humour.
Newspapers are not the enemy of radio advertising sales people. Yes, the client will spend most of their budget in newspapers, and you have to work to either take a lions share to advertise on your station, or show the clients ways to save money on their other advertising that they can plough into their radio advertising.
What they will notice at first is that when they advertise on radio AND press, their advertising seems to work 5 times harder! Their press ads start to jump out off the page. The customers though remain confused because radio works in the VISUAL part of the mind.
Mike Bersin tells a story of a garden centre that put it’s rise in sales down to the newspaper… but most customers at the checkout could sing their catchy jingle. They were influence by advertising that worked in the VISUAL part of their brain.
It wasn’t just the radio working though. For sure. I noticed the effect once when driving through Hull. Shops that I had heard about on the radio seemed to jump out from the shops around them. Opening a newspaper, the ads jump out of the page when the client is a regular radio user.
Yesterday I was interviewed for Suite 101 by my former boss, mentor, former Head of Creative at Radio Clyde, quoter of Burns, and all round good guy Dan McCurdy.
Dan M Curdy
You can find the interview here
The client has a great voice.
It’s true. Deep, rich and resonant.
But in the studio, and faced with a $3,000 microphone he turns into a quivering wreck.
He’s discovered that being a great voice over is not just about a great voice.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with some amazing voice artists and they are worth what they get paid. (although many will complain they don’t get paid enough by local radio stations)
The fact is, it’s not easy.
They have to read a script and make it sound like it’s not read.
They have to squish 34 seconds of verbage into 29.5 seconds.
They have to do take after take for the agency “producer” who wouldn’t know a great read from a jar of strawberry jam.
They have to deliver the same read, time and time again, with small adjustments, and remember what the producer didn’t like from the last take.
One moment they’re the voice of God, the next moment a talking dolphin.
And, they have to market themselves to writers and producers who already think they have enough talent on their books.
All with a smile.
So when a friend tells you you have a great voice and should be a voice over, by all means give it a try. But just because you can play chopsticks doesn’t mean you should give up your day job and become a concert pianist.
This month I will be attending VOX 2012 in the UK. It’s a change to meet the people whose mouths I am lucky enough to put words into.