radio ads

Radio Advertising Ridiculousness

Roy Williams recently wrote a Monday Morning Memo that said…

“To accomplish the miraculous

you must attempt the ridiculous.

Before you attempt the ridiculous

radio ads

This image is only to remind you forgetful people that Valentine’s is in a few days. You at least should get a card. Better yet, write one yourself.
Image courtesy of “Stuart Miles” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

you must announce it to the world.

If you don’t have the courage to announce it,
you must at least whisper it in the dark.
Because it must be spoken.
You’ve got to hear yourself say it.
And then you’ve got to take action.

Are you sufficiently ridiculous to do this?”

This was taken directly from his memo.  Click here to read the whole thing.  I forwarded that memo on to a few people whom I know are just a little bit crazy and just a little bit genius.  And I told them that I admired them for that… and I that hope to be those things some day.

There is no way in hell that I will ever make a real difference to anyone if I decide to “play it safe” every time and not be a little bit crazy.  Whether I’m writing a blog or writing a radio ad, I better not ever sell out.  I better not ever be someone who I’m not.  I’ve made it this far and have become somewhat successful because I tend to move to the beat of a different drum.  And that’s OK, right?  If it’s not.  I’ll move along.

Did you hear what Sam Smith said at the Grammys last night?  He said,

“Before I made this record I was doing everything to try and get my music heard. I tried to lose weight and I was making awful music. It was only until I started to be myself that the music started to flow and people started to listen.”

Did you catch that?  Only when he started to be himself

And it’s a good thing that the Brits only care about “the voice”… unlike America where all the singers have to be pretty.  No, Sam Smith is not a super model.  He’s a great singer.  He’s a human being.  And he figured out that all he had to do was be himself.

Why is this post called Radio Advertising Ridiculousness?  Well, it started out about Roy Williams’ Monday Morning Memo called Are You Sufficiently Ridiculous.  But it turned into a bit of ridiculousness from me.  I guess if I’m not being different (in a pretty big way) from the other 200 advertising “executives” or salespeople in my town, I’m not going to be happy.  I’m not going to be as successful as I want to be.

I think I hold back.

I think I care what people think too much.

On the other hand, I’m not a complete “follower”.  And I think that scares people in power.  I think that makes them nervous.  And for what?  Life is too frickin’ short ain’t it?

So, when you want advertising that is going to be different enough from the other 5000 advertising messages being HURLED at people EVERY SINGLE DAY… to actually make an impact… then I’d like to sit down and chat with you. 

Would you like to forge ahead of your competition?  Would you like to be the pioneer who isn’t afraid to get the attention needed to grow your business?  Hey… me too.

Radio advertising doesn’t have to be ridiculous… you just need your radio ad writer to be!

Duane Christensen

SIOUX FALLS RADIO ADVERTISING blog

(Head pencil sharpener at Results Radio Townsquare Media)

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Did I make you look?  Did I make you wonder, “What the schnizzit?”

Your radio ad needs a good headline.  If you don’t give it one…nobody will hear the rest of the ad.  But to the novice radio ad copy writer, or to the advertiser, you want to start your radio ad like this…

“ABC Horseshoeing has been in business since 1870.  They can handle all of your horseshoeing needs…”

I’m not saying the title of my blog post is a great headline, but it’s to make a point.  The headline is about YOU.  It’s telling YOU how YOU could possibly benefit.  It’s not about a company or a product.

Because you don’t know any better, you’ll feel like you have to put your business name up front and center.  After all… you’re paying for the advertising… why wouldn’t you put your business name right at the beginning and then another 19 times throughout the ad!  But wait.  Stop.  Don’t do it.  Why?

What does a radio listener (or any consumer for that matter) truly care about?  Do they care about you, the business owner?  Do they care that you want to make more money?  Ummm, no.  They couldn’t care less.  They have other shit to worry about.  They have a life.  And they’re trying to get ahead.  They’re worried about surviving and thriving.  They’re definitely not worried about you and your business.

Not to be harsh… but it’s the truth.  And by understanding the TRUTH and understanding a little bit about why people do the things they do, you’ll be able to start advertising to your prospects in a much more effective manner.

So, start your radio ad headline with a statement or a question that engages the radio listener.  Say something about THEM.  Say something that doesn’t automatically alert their brain to the fact that they’re listening to a radio ad.  You should be informing people about things they didn’t know about.  Teach them something.  Make them go, “Hmmm, I didn’t know that.”  Now, you’re setting yourself up as a potential “expert” in their minds.

You should also be entertaining a radio listener.  They’re listening to the radio for entertainment.  So, if you want to keep them engaged, then you better add some drama, humor, fun, etc. into your radio commercial.  Another great way to entertain is by storytelling.  We all love stories.  As long as it’s actually interesting and it doesn’t feel like you’re force-feeding us a story.  It needs to be relevant.

Whatever your headline, story, or humor in your radio ad… it better be guiding a listener all the way through the ad to a defining “aha” moment at the end.  Which is where the advertiser finally becomes the star or the hero.  You’re a problem solver.  So, bring up a problem… and then be the solution.  A better solution than your competition.

Another great way to critique your radio ad is to ask “So what?” to yourself after every line you read.  Is it a valuable phrase?  Or is it a cliché piece of garbage that will give the radio listener’s brain permission to stop listening to the ad you’re paying for?

Before you even consider mentioning your business name in your radio ad… you need to provide VALUE first.  To make your radio advertising more effective, you must prove to the listener that they could possibly benefit by listening to your ad.  Or entertain them while you weave your way unpredictably towards the defining “hero” moment where YOUR BUSINESS is the one who can either improve someone’s life or solve a problem for them.

To improve your lackluster advertising:

It’s NOT about who can shout the loudest.  

It’s the opposite.

It’s who can SEDUCE and PERSUADE… the deepest.  

And that all starts with a headline that is NOT about the advertiser.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

SIOUX FALLS RADIO ADVERTISING blog

Copy Writing: Persuasion with Words

What’s the ultimate skill you possess when it comes to copy writing? What kind of wicked wordsmithing do you conjure up? Or are you short on copy writing skill?

Here’s when you absolutely need some extra copy writing training and advice…

IF IT TAKES YOU LONGER TO UNDERLINE, BOLD, AND INSERT TRIPLE EXCLAMATION POINTS TO YOUR COPY THAN IT DID TO ACTUALLY WRITE THE SCRIPT OR COPY…THEN YOU MAY BE ABLE TO BENEFIT FROM SOME EXTRA COPY WRITING INSTRUCTION.

You need to "shock" a little. Image courtesy of "foto76" / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You need to “shock” a little.
Image courtesy of “foto76” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Your copy needs to do something. It needs to JOLT in some way. Of course there are a lot of ways to do that:

1) Words and phrases that are completely out of left field and make people go “What the…?” causing them to HAVE to hear what’s next. You need to surprise people with your word choices. Just don’t disappoint them after the “What the…” moment.

2) Storytelling in a manner that sucks a person into the story. (Let’s say it’s a radio ad) A story told in such a way that if someone were to reach over in an attempt to change the radio station in the middle of the story…you’d slap that person’s hand.

3) Sharing information that is unknown to a reader/listener. Information that is intriguing and feeds the curiosity and thirst for knowledge within us.

4) Raw, personal, and “human” content. When you share a vulnerability of some sort about a person or company, people perk up. They like to know that they’re not the only messed up souls on the planet. They like to know that some of the thoughts in your head…match up with a few of theirs. It helps to connect with them. It deepens relationships. It helps them remember you…when they need what you sell.

Those are only a few ways to inject some degree of jolt-factor into your copy.

And do I really need to say this?…

  • Kill the cliché stuff.
  • Take a noose to the “ad speak”.

Speaking of “ad speak”. Was it Roy Williams of the Wizard Academy who coined that term? Either way… he has been instrumental in my copy writing,  marketing, and advertising education. Have you read his “Wizard of Ads” trilogy? It’s a must if you’re in business.

Other recommendations…

Well, besides Roy (who I still refer to and learn from) I also liked Jeffrey Fox’s “How to Become a Marketing Superstar” when I was starting out. It’s great for someone just learning. I’d say get some of the basics of copy writing down first.

THEN…THEN…Then, when your brain is REALLY hungry to get good. When your appetite to learn more is fierce, dig into the teachings of these people…

Eugene Schwartz

Dan Kennedy

David Ogilvy

Claude Hopkins

Jack Trout

Joe Sugarman

Gary Halbert

John Carlton

Roy H. Williams

…and of course there are a ton more. These are just some really strong suggestions. I still get hungry, too. If you have 1 or 2 other suggestions that I may not have read…please feel free to comment and SHARE with me. : )

Just remember that the people you’re trying to persuade with your copy writing need to be jolted a little (or a lot). They need to be awed and seduced. Don’t try to trick them into paying attention…make them want to.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

My work website: http://duanechristensen.townsquareinteractive.com/ (And if you’d like a business website like this, or nothing like this, give me a shout. I’ll point you in the right direction)

And if you have questions about the cost of radio advertising, which radio stations would be a good fit, or how to get started attracting more customers, don’t be afraid to ask. I like to help good businesses take a bigger slice of the market.

Or if you’d like to set up a free blog like the one you’re reading, I can help you get started with that too.

SURPRISE’M WITH THE UNEXPECTED

What do the highest grossing movies in the world have in common?

They all have an above average degree of the unexpected. They keep you on your toes. They keep you wondering what’s coming next. They “change gears” dramatically and often.

And that’s what the best advertisements also have in common. When your ads are predictable, your prospects’ brains tune out and do something else. The headline of your ad should get you to listen to or read the next line. That line should get you to listen to or read the line after that…and so on. As soon as one of the lines in your ad is filled with word after word of predictability, your prospect will zone out and focus their attention on something more important.

If a husband buys his wife flowers every Valentine’s Day, his wife thinks it’s sweet, but it doesn’t “move” her like he’s hoping. But when he surprises her with flowers on a completely unexpected day, along with a hand-written note, her heart will flutter – mostly because it was unexpected. And what if he took it an extra step? What if he picked her up after work and they headed off to a stress-free mini-vacation for the weekend without the kids? Now, that’s a nominee for husband of the year. Which reminds me…I should practice what I preach!

We’re getting slammed with advertisements and special offers every minute of the day. So, keep people on their toes with words and advertising messages that surprise and give people a warm feeling. Something that makes them start wondering why they’re not doing business with you. Make someone feel good about your company. You’ll get a heck of a lot better return on investment just by making people feel good about your company, versus pushing another annoying and typical ad on them!

The great authors of fiction peel us away from reality and throw us into new worlds with ease – and we don’t want to ever put the book down. There are movie makers that cause people to go see their films without even caring too much what the movie is about. We just know it will be good. They do it with unpredictability. Twists, turns, drama, conflict, and surprise – they’re not just for great books and movies, but your advertisements also.

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

I’m a radio marketing guy in Sioux Falls who loves helping local businesses improve their marketing message. The difference between good advertising and bad is usually all about the MESSAGE. Improve your ad message, and you’ll improve your advertising results.