Small Business Advertising: Butts in Seats

What’s the purpose of local advertising?

To put “butts in seats”.

Like David Ogilvy said, “If it doesn’t sell, it’s not creative.”

Photo courtesy of "Sura Nualpradid" /

Photo courtesy of “Sura Nualpradid” /

So, the point here today is that you can be as funny or creative as you want in advertising…but if it doesn’t move the needle for your business…why bother? Being creative in advertising is important because you find new angles to use in advertising your company. You make people think differently about you and help them come to the conclusion that you’d be a trusted choice when they need what you sell.

But you need to make sure your creativity is helping to drive your main point home. Don’t be creative for the sake of being creative… be creative to help prospects understand how you’re different. You take a point of difference (how you’re different from your competition) and you exaggerate the hell out of that difference.

You don’t have a lot of ad dollars to waste, right? So, make sure the message of your radio ads (or any ads) are “putting butts in seats”. Make sure your ads have the ability to make an impact. Will they be remembered when your prospect needs you 3 to 6 months from now? And figure out HOW you want people to think of you…when they see or hear the name of your business. When you know what you’d like to be branded as… then take the steps to make that happen. It’ll help you put “butts in seats” consistently and for the long haul. Not just for your next 2-Day Mega Sale.

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, SD



How do you write a different future for yourself or your business? How do you make an impact? How do you change the outcome?

This should help…   2 quick Moneyball movie trailers –

And Whoa! I love this next one too –

When you need to make something different happen…

When you’re tired of the same outcome time after time…

When you need a change

You need to do things differently.

“Your goal shouldn’t be to buy players…your goal should be to buy WINS.”

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

“Doing things differently is pretty much the only way I feel comfortable doing them. I used to feel bad about that. But not any more.”   

Camouflage Advertising

You’ve got competition.  And you’d like to steer people towards YOU instead of THEM.  Want your ad to get noticed?  Don’t camouflage it.  Do something different.  The goal is to make your listening prospect feel good about you and feel comfortable enough to call, go to your website,  or walk in your door.  But that won’t ever happen if your ad never gets heard.  Just because you have a radio ad airing…doesn’t mean that it’s being heard.  If it sounds like the typical radio ad (who you are, what you do, where you’re located, and your phone number 5 times)…it’s probably not getting heard.  It’s going in one ear and out the other.  Blah, blah, blah.

So what can you do?  What should you do?

Camouflage Advertising

Photo courtesy of “SweetCrisis” /

DO NOT BLEND IN.  Ads get ignored that look, sound, or smell like every other ad.

Your message is YOUR message.  Make it personal.  Get me interested.  How can you interest your prospect?  There are infinite ways, but here are a few ideas…

People love stories. It’s how human beings naturally communicate most impactfully.  (spell-checker says that “impactfully” is not a word – oh well).  Sharing a completely unique and entertaining story can keep your prospect engaged.

People appreciate new information. Teach me something.  We love to learn new things.  Just don’t get too “smarty pants” and talk over my head.

People love to answer questions. If you’re standing in the middle of a group of 10 people and ask a question out loud…every person will want to answer that question.  Either out loud or in their head.  It’s how we’re wired.  So a good headline to an ad is sometimes a well-thought out question that will get the direct attention of your very specific prospect/potential buyer.

People “perk up” or “snap out of trances” when you use words they don’t expect. Don’t bore our highly complex brains with the predictable.  Don’t use words that you think you should use.

Break the rules.  There are no rules. Comedians are a good example.  There is a kind of science and psychology to making people laugh…but if comics all used the same words, how funny would that be?  Comedians follow no rules.  They have a specific goal in mind – to make your stomach and face muscles hurt from laughing so much.  They can’t do that by being like everyone else.

I could keep going…but there’s a limit to our attention spans, right?

Let’s not partake in “camouflage advertising”.  Get noticed.  Say no to camouflage advertising.  You’ll get a much better return on your investment.

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

Results Radio / Townsquare Media-Sioux Falls

And to learn more about standing out and getting noticed with your advertising you can get the Kindle edition of my book here, Take A Bigger Slice.