Sunday, June 17, 2012

Radio Ads Make Me Want To Scream

On terrific websites and in very scientific research studies our business keeps trying to convince the local appliance, stereo stores and car dealers with sound logic that their use of our medium - shouting over-the-top promises and branding half-truths and even paying our personalities talent fees to hurt their personal credibility in endorsement spots and at remote broadcasts from their retail locations to do the same thing - isn't working.

For several years, Dr. David Eagleman has been writing wonderfully well-documentated books, publishing great research studies, magazine articles all in support of the idea that the brain's primary work is done at a subconscious level.

This is the guy who convinced his ethical review board that it was OK to drop his research subjects off of a tower in order to see if time really does slow down in frightening situations. (it didn't, though it seemed to during the fall to the subjects)

Read Eagleman.  Spend time with and  The facts are clear:  logic isn't as effective in influence as is emotion.

Radio's pal Dan O'Day has been devoting his life to this crusade for many years, as this video from 1999 demonstrates. (we're often as guilty as our advertisers are)

Jeffrey Hedquist and the Radio Mercury Awards are just two of numerous others who have been fighting the good fight.
Meanwhile, people give us money every day to play ads which only irritate and insult listener intelligence in spite of all the very rational arguments our business has been making.

Is it time to try a different approach?

Let's equip every radio salesperson with a ball-peen hammer in their brief case.  The moment the client pulls out a CD with their new commercial which sounds a lot like their old commercial, have the seller brandish the hammer over the ad and yell "don't make me use this!!"

It can't work any worse than our current approach does, can it?

At least the buyer will feel something when your rep leaves her office.


Ed Brady said...

After 40 years in radio, how to write, record & produce great radio ads that work. However, the client always wants to add 'junk' like ''in business since 1993'' (who cares?) or the words 'friendly staff.' When they go in for surgery, do they tell the doctor, 'Give me thar scalpel because the first incision should be 2 inches higher on my avdomen!''

After 40 years in radio, I know how to

Tracy Johnson said...

Well put.

I am sending you a link to a recent post of mine from May about a similar topic

Rod Schwartz, Owner/Creative Director GRACE BROADCAST SALES said...

Enjoyed your piece today. As bad as your "worst commercial ever" was, I've heard worse. Fortunately, there are more than a few of us who are preoccupied with getting it right for our clients and our listeners. The neat thing about making the investment of time, effort, energy, and money to make our commercials engaging and effective for our advertisers, is that rarely will we hear from them "it's not working." In the long run, this is true time management!