Effective commercial checklist

Here’s my “effective commercial checklist”….

– did it get my attention quickly?
-does it appeal to any emotion?
-is it written like consumers speak to each other?
-does it persuade?
-is it focused on 1 primary message?
-does it seem memorable?
-does it have “organic” sharing potential? (remarkable)
-if it promotes a specific event, is the copy as current as possible?
-does it fit the format it’s heard on with both verbage and production values?
-is it easy to understand and recall?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and/or additions….

Effective messaging must be persuasive!

It’s amazing to me to hear so many commercials on the air these days that have absolutely no effort to persuade consumers to act. They spend so much time listing facts about the business like services, address, phone number, sales offers….there’s no time to actually “persuade” the consumer to act. First of all, the only contact info you need in a commercial is the website. It’s what consumers both remember, and is the first place they go for store location, phone number, specifics on sale items and financing…. Use your commercial time to emotionally persuade the consumer to logon to your website when they get home or work or…wherever they’re going.
Simply listing facts about the business doesn’t drive return on investment, sales do! Persuading means making them “feel” something. Feelings drive decisions, especially purchasing decisions. Consumers want to feel good about their purchases. You have to make them feel before they’ll act. Think about recent purchases you’ve made. What made you “feel” like you needed that item? Consumer purchases aren’t made randomly. If we can convince the consumer on an emotional level that making a purchase is good for them somehow, bingo!
Think about the elevator pitch you’d give a consumer to purchase your product or service, and include it in your next marketing campaign. Don’t waste valuable commercial time with phone numbers, consumers will never remember it anyway unless you’ve produced a catchy jingle around it, and jingles take up time as well. Think like a consumer when preparing your marketing message and you’ll be far ahead of most campaigns out there these days. Have I persuaded you?

We need to change radio’s perception from expense to investment!

It wasn’t all that long ago that advertising on the radio was a broad goal and even a “status symbol” to many businesses. My how times have changed! But we’re the guilty ones. Since deregulation, the quality of our campaigns has suffered greatly due to several reasons…one being exceptional creative doesn’t matter anymore to most radio companies. Most don’t even have a Creative Services Director or department anymore. We’ve turned our inventory into a commodity instead of the precious real estate it once was. We’ve allowed agencies to dictate our pricing and value as a result of our lack of creative focus. It was a choice we made as an industry. It makes me laugh every time I see a story or column from the RAB or NAB talking about the things radio needs to do to grow our “piece of the pie”. Have you noticed that not one time in any of those pieces has it been suggested that we step up our creative performance? But let me tell you, the times are changing. With more and more media platforms popping up the pie is sliced in a lot more pieces. As is tradition in the radio industry, we’re once again reactive. Some broadcasters have started to realize that the key to success going forward is going to up our creative game. Our campaigns need to penetrate and activate the end users. Tracking results has become much easier thanks to some of our recent media newbies, and clients expect more tangible results. Results don’t happen because of the latest high tech deliver system or side delivery platform. People create results and it’s time the radio industry realizes this. Radio needs to return to the days of hiring creative people to do what they do best. Radio needs to treat it’s commercial inventory as content….not a necessary evil. “Less is more” came about because our own industry admitted our campaigns aren’t compelling. It’s probably too late for radio to take back pricing controls, but we can control our results, if we choose. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what needs to be done, but we have to admit, most rocket scientists are more creative than radio these days.