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3 Things To Avoid In Your Radio Commercial

Radio is an incredibly powerful marketing medium. I’ve seen first hand its power through various marketing campaigns I’ve been a part of. However, not all radio ads are created equal.

Here are three tips that will increase the effectiveness of your radio advertisement:

- Lose The Music Bed

Many radio commercials incorporate a music bed while a pitchman is talking. The marketing team puts the music bed to make the commercial exciting, but actually 9 out of 10 times the music is distracting. Instead of engaging the listener, the music bed actually draws attention away from the message and toward the music. While background music is intended to enhance the mood of the spot, in reality it drowns out the copy and disengages the listener.

This will put everything into context. Go to a seminar where there’s a speaker on stage. It could be a medical seminar, a round table symposium or the next Matlin Creative 2-Day Workshop (definitely go to that one!). While the speaker on stage is talking, will loud music be playing behind him? Obviously not. The loud music would distract the audience from absorbing the message the speaker is attempting to convey. Duh. So why is it that during a radio commercial, the spot’s producer felt the need to incorporate a music bed?

Only once, out of all the campaigns I’ve created, have I heard a spot that was more effective with a music bed under the entire length of the spot.

If a radio station is producing your commercial for you, insist that they do not include a music bed in your commercial. They’ll hem and haw and tell you that you need one – how the audience will zone out without one. Be gracious and politely tell them “no thanks”.

Do use a jingle or music mark at the end of your spot, but not while copy is being said.

- Avoid The “Conversation”

How many radio ads have we all heard where two people are having a conversation about how great the featured product or service is?

Too many.

The spot typically goes like this:

Man: You look beautiful today. Did you do something different?

Woman: I did. I got my hair done at ABC salon.

Man: Wow, they did a great job.

Woman: They’re the best salon in Fictitiousville. And they’re the best value.

Man: ABC Salon sounds amazing.

Woman: They really are…. Blah blah blah.

This type of commercials fits a certain template. It’s like Mad Libs, where it’s a one size fits all advertisement, that can be used for virtually any type of product or business. The problem is these commercials are forgettable. Throughout the spot, time is wasted with faux conversation. It’s is lazy and ineffective.

- Don’t Say The Important Information Once!

Repetition of a message increases the customer’s chance of remembering it. Whether it’s a company name, phone number, web address or competitive advantage, don’t be afraid to say things multiple times in your commercial. Be selective in what is being repeated keeping in mind time restraints. It’s like hypnotism, the more a message is repeated, the higher the odds are that it will be remembered.

Want a customer to call your company? Make it easy fto remember the phone number – say it 2-3 times in your ad.

Want a customer to visit your website? Say the URL multiple times in your commercial.

Want a customer to remember how low-priced your products are? Mention the incredible value and unbelievable low price various times in your spot.

Understand that listeners won’t pick up on the message the first time they hear it, so give them multiple chances in each spot that plays.

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