How To Write A Great Radio Ad!
If you’ve listened to some radio ads lately you may have picked up on something, right as you punched the button to change the station. And that is that most radio spots, and by that I mean about 97%, are boring or just plain annoying... and boring.
One problem is that many advertisers rely on the station to write and produce their
spots. And who can blame them? The stations usually offer those services for free.
And the word “free” is the operative word here as in, “you get what you pay for” free.
Most stations make their account executives take on the added job of writing the
copy. Still sound good to you? Think about it. These are the same persuasive A type
personalities who persuaded you to purchase air time on their stations in the first
place. Which do you think they would rather be doing? Being strapped to their desk
writing your ad copy, or
out selling more time and making commissions off another sale? Plus, most have as
much experience writing convincing ad copy as you do.
So they either have to write it themselves or pawn it off to the production guy who
really, really doesn’t want to write it. After all, he’s not even making any
commission! All he knows is that he’s got ten commercials to pound out including
yours, (which is another reason many radio spots sound the same) before he can
Now based on that info, do you think the account executive or the production guy
really gives a rats behind whether or not your spot is entertaining and convincing?
“No” is the correct box to check here.
If you take away anything from this article let it be this: the content of your radio
spots are as important as the time you’ve purchased for them. And as proof to your
ears, many advertisers miss this most important point. They end up paying a small
ransom for their schedule, getting the times sent to them daily while keeping a
close eye on when their spots run, all while forgetting that the most important
part is the message itself.
Let’ review: you’re not a copywriter, the account executive would rather lose a limb
than write it, and the production guy will give you about 10 minutes of his or her
time knocking it out. What’s the solution? Hire an expert. After all, would you
perform your own appendectomy? Let’s hope not. Some things just aren’t worth
cutting corners for. Or body parts.
So where do you find someone who will write and produce your radio commercials?
There are several avenues to explore here. First, I would
be remiss not to mention my agency, The Eisenberg Agency, because we specialize
in radio creative. But aside from that shameless plug,
you can ask your radio account executives to suggest someone or you can search
the web. Another idea would be to to call the company whose spots you’ve heard
and liked and ask them who did their radio.
Of course it would be a plus if the company or writer you chose has had prior
experience writing for your particular business, but if they’re good
it won’t really matter.
And just like the example above, when it comes to hiring a creative
agency, you still get what you pay for. Be prepared for quotes that are all over the
map. You may find a copywriter who will write the ad and then farm it out to a
production house. You may find both in one shop. Just be sure and ask to hear and
read samples of their work. Clever copy should perform two tasks. It should make
the listener want to hear the spot and it should inform the listener about the
product while doing so. There are many do’s and don’ts when writing copy that your
copywriter should be very aware of. For example, you may hear some local ads that
feel the need to repeat their phone number at the end of their spot four or five
times but the truth is, radio is primarily a branding tool. By that I mean it works over
time. Don’t expect the listener to remember everything that is said in your spots.
Especially while she is driving down the road, headed to a client meeting and
answering her cell phone while deciding what to have for dinner. Just keep your
message simple, wrap it up in a clever way, and run the heck out of it.
Finally, and I feel the need to say this on behalf of all fellow copywriters out there -
let the professional copywriter write the copy. You should supply them with bullet
points, the most important points you wish to get across, but let them work their
magic and trust them to know what will and won’t work on the radio. And if you are
a closet comedian and feel the need to express yourself, try amateur night at the
local comedy club first before spending your hard earned money on a spot that you
and your fellow employees think is just “freakin hilarious”. Also, when giving your
copywriter bullet points, keep in mind that trying to fit in more than three of them
may overwhelm the listener’s ears and make them tune your spot out. Sure you’ve
been in business for over 12 years, but listeners don’t have to hear about every item
or feature you have. I can’t tell you how many spots I hear daily where the poor
copywriter was forced to try to change the laws of physics by cramming 3 minutes
of copy into a sixty second ad.
Your radio ads could be the driving force behind your brand while at the same time
driving your cash register into make those little ringing sounds if you do it right.
Good luck and I look forward to hearing your spots.
Really, I do!
Like what you’ve read? Want to read more? Visit The Eisenberg Agency web site at:
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