It’s not their fault. They didn’t know it was BAD.
I recently received a radio script from new client. It was 30 seconds worth of words that sounded like every other ad that their industry cranks out. It was going to be ignored. It was going to blend in with every other craptacular 30-second radio spot that talked all about the business, but not about the listener.
So, I had a dilemma. I already knew they were going to spend some money to air the radio spot. I’m assuming most advertising people would have just let’r rip! “Let’s take their money and run for the hills!” But I didn’t do that. I called the client and started to explain myself. I gave the biggest reasons why it wouldn’t work. And then I said, there are a few things in the radio ad I’d like to keep…but I want to re-write it and see what you think.
A few hours later I sent a 60-second radio spot. I added some flair and “likeability” to the ad…but I focused the entire spot on that one main point that the business was trying to get across. I shined a light on it…instead of just mentioning once or twice. I made it impossible for listeners to ignore the message. Because the point of the ad had a good chance of attracting the right new customer. It had some merit.
Now, the radio spot was actually easy to listen to and keep someone’s attention. I added humor to it. I added unpredictability. I added a few production elements that added to the point we were trying to make.
They loved it. I don’t think anyone had ever explained how advertising works to them. They only dealt with order takers in the past…not marketers. They told me straight up that they appreciated my honesty up front and my experience that turned a mediocre ad at best into one that actually WORKED! They ended up making another buy and I think we’re on our way to a beautiful friendship.
And I felt better about myself because I did the right thing. I ran the risk of losing a potential new client because I told them their ad wasn’t going to work. Even if I did take their money initially…it would have been very short-term. They would have moved on to the next advertising medium or rep…and tried the same thing.
Now the business understands that it’s not only about WHERE you’re advertising…most importantly, it’s WHAT YOU SAY to the people that will make all the difference. Victory!
If you’d like to talk about how to NOT let your advertising blend in with all the background noise, just give me a shout. I’d love to discuss real options and different ideas.
Thanks for reading. Have a groovy day!
Results Radio Townsquare Media
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
I write this blog on behalf of my own sales and marketing career at Results Radio Townsquare Media in Sioux Falls. (8-station radio group + ad writing + strategy). This is not the company website. This is my own personal radio advertising blog. I hope to educate future radio clients as well as share some extra insight to my current radio clients.
2 thoughts on “Fixing a 30-second Radio Spot and Strengthening a Client Relationship”
May I share an observation privately (rather than commenting on the blog itself)?
This would be a much more edifying post if you shared the original ad along with the improved version, so that one might understand the whys and hows of the process. Fixing defective copy shows that you care. Sharing the process demonstrates your competence.
I can’t imagine that your client would object to this if you asked their permission to share the experience in a blog post. I did something similara few years back. The only objection came from the other station’s sales rep (who’d written the original spot), who went to the client to show them what I was saying about their business. He was shocked to hear from the client that they knew about it and had sanctioned it, in the interest of helping others! He got over it though and eventually became a member of RSC himself.
Food for thought.
Have a great weekend, Duane!
Thanks Rod. Agreed. 🙂
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