The value of :60 commercials…storytelling!


Though they’ve almost become extinct, 60 second commercials have a very special opportunity that shorter commercials don’t…storytelling. Storytelling is one of the most successful marketing strategies these days. Storytelling requires a setup (tease), a payoff (offer) and a happy ending (how it makes your life simpler). The key is, every phase of the 60 second commercial is as critical as the others. Why? Because keeping a radio listeners attention for 60 seconds is hard when it’s prime content, let alone a commercial. That’s the secret…make every 60 second commercial sound like entertainment content. It’s not easy, but it’s magical when it works! Think about how many more times the client’s business can be referenced in a :60 vs. a :30 or :15. It allows for a more memorable effect. It’s a great selling point for 60 second campaigns. We can tell the story of your business benefit, AND a call to action. Storytelling works. So do 60 second commercials, if the author understands what activates the consumer.

Radio has created a niche market it should be ashamed of!

I recently spent a considerable amount of time researching advertising agencies to track trends in how they do business in 2016. Out of 37 agency websites in a variety of top 30 markets I examined, only 5 even mentioned radio creative as a service they offer? 5! 21 mentioned TV creative as a service they offer. EVERY one of them offer digital, social media content, content marketing, SEO research….. 5 mentioned radio. Radio has created a niche market it should be ashamed of…. radio creative. No one is doing it, yet. I had no idea I was working in such a niche market? Some small, private broadcaster will begin the trend back to radio creative by actually hiring a Creative Director, a position almost every radio station in the top 100 markets had as recent as 5-6 years ago. Radio has simply abandoned it’s core business! I promise to remind the RAB and NAB about this, though it’s a shame they need to be reminded. Radio has fallen into the “shiny new object” trap that ignores a business that a century after it’s inception is still used by 94% of Americans every week. Embarrassingly, the results shown by my small sample, less than 15% of advertising agencies list radio creative as a service they offer. Radio loves to brag about it’s “reach”. Reach means nothing to their precious few clients if the quality of the commercial messaging is crap. Do we really wonder why there’s such a client attrition epidemic in the radio industry these days? Today’s radio messaging just doesn’t deliver results like it used to. Think about this the next time you see a quote from some radio executive bitching about being undervalued on wall street, and moaning about radio only getting 7% of the total advertising pie. It’s never usually more than a few days away. Radio’s foot is full of holes. Hey Inside Radio, throw them a bone!!

My secret weapon for new campaigns…

When developing my “target client” list, I consider what kind of business makes for a good “Series Campaign”. I’ve stated before that I always create a spec spot for any new client before I approach them. Many times I’m able to produce a series of commercials, usually at least 3 separate spots built on a theme that connects and is carried on. This tactic gives the client a better feel for what their long-term marketing would look and sound like. This tactic can be used on any media platform on or offline. Developing characters is a good starting point for series campaigns. Characters give the client a more tangible asset, and a feeling of ownership in their marketing. Providing expert tips is another great avenue for series campaigns, thus creating an expert perception to the consumer. There are several other paths to go take to successful series campaigns. Bottom line is, clients are impressed with not only the finished product, but the effort to demonstrate a unique marketing strategy that can’t be duplicated. Create a series campaign and you’ll create a true marketing partnership from day one!


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It’s the messaging. Consider this, even the lowest rated radio station in any market in the top 100 has enough cume for an effective messaging campaign to generate results. We only need to determine the best demographic, geographic and psychographic fit for the business, then negotiate the rate, IF we have the right messaging. You’ve heard the adage… “nothing kills a bad product quicker than great marketing”? Well, nothing kills a great product faster than weak messaging on ANY media outlet! The problem is, most advertisers and media outlets at the local level don’t put near enough focus on effective messaging. This should be the first step in any campaign, right? It’s not. It’s a shame how many campaigns have been a waste of money due to weak messaging, in every market size! The next time a client cancels or doesn’t renew, take a minute and truly evaluate the messaging. I can almost guarantee you’ll find the problem there. You don’t need the largest and most expensive cume outlet in the market to succeed, but you do need the right messaging. Imagine how efficient most advertising campaigns can be if the first step in developing the campaign is the right messaging… sometimes common sense makes sense!