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Hey! Did you know you can hear samples of almost everything we have?

COMMERCIAL BABBLE/COMMERCIAL CLICHES

by Dan O'Day

(Part One)

Here is a partial listing of useless* cliches that never again need be inflicted upon an innocent radio commercial.

(*Remember, if it's in a commercial and it's "useless," it's HARMFUL to the advertising message.)

"Going on now."

(As in, "Going on now at Sears!" Anyone who ever uses that phrase in a radio commercial should be kicked out of radio. And anyone who ever BEGINS a commercial with that phrase - as in, "Going on now at Sears! It's the one-in-a-lifetime semi-annual sale you've been waiting for!" -- should be imprisoned for life.)

"Now is the time...."

"They won't last long."

"Service second to none"

"Savings throughout the store"

"The sale you've been waiting for!"

(YOU apparently have no life!)

"It's sale time!"

"It's midsummer madness time!"

"It's bargain time!"

"It's inventory time!"

"It's big savings time!"

"It's clearance time!"

"Storewide savings"

"It's happening now!"

"It's happening at....."

"We service what we sell"

(Obviously, we point this out in our commercials because with the kind of junk we sell, you'll NEED lots of service!)

"For all of your _____ needs"

"Friendly, knowledgeable staff"

"Conveniently located...."

"And, what's more..."

(Have you EVER heard a real human being in real life say, "And, what's more?)

("Say, honey, what do you say this evening we go out for dinner...AND, WHAT'S MORE, a movie!")

"So hurry on down..."

"For the finest in..."

"It's our people that make the difference!"

(That's because our competitors employ robots and androids. We, on the other hand, use only 100% human beings and human being byproducts.)

"Quality service"

"Not to mention"

(Um....You just DID!)

READER RESPONSE FROM JEREMY MILLAR, BP&R:

Hi Dan,

My "submission" includes:...

"Operators are standing by"

(get a life)

"but wait, there's more!" (please!)

"tell them you heard this ad and get a discount"

(no way, don't test radio with your crappy offer)

"phone 555 1234"

(alpha-numeric phone numbers might work, but otherwise refer 'em to the Yellow Pages)

(DAN REPLIES: Even that, I think, is a waste of commercial time. How many businesses do you know that:

1. Don't have phone numbers?

2. Don't have their phone numbers listed in the phone book { or, if new, via Directory Assistance} ?

And, finally, how many listeners don't know the above, too?)

READER RESPONSE FROM MITCH BARBER:

The competing station in our small market has an absolutely AWFUL morning guy, who also happens to produce about half of the spots on the air. Here are a few annoying cliches I've picked up just from listening to him....

"Located in downtown Mount Vernon, Ohio...."

(That's in case all the listeners in in Mount Vernon, Virginia get confused)

"That's right!"

(We usually don't get the facts straight around here, so we're telling you we got it right this time)

"Yes, siree"

(Don't laugh, he actually says this at least twice each spot.)

"The fine folks down at...."

"Stop on by today...."

That's my contribution to your commercial babble list. I have more ("WAIT, there's more!"), but they've already been mentioned by

your other "friendly, helpful, knowledgeable" readers.

READER RESPONSE FROM BOB KIERNAN:

Thought I'd send you the "Best of British Babblesque"..

Announcer: Ever heard a radio commercial that starts with a question? Well now there's never been a better time to test drive this once in a lifetime compilation of never to be repeated script no no's!! You've got to be in it to win it, so remember, it's your choice, and this is your very last chance to take advantage. That's right, yes! That's right!! For a limited period only, you too can be simply the best, so buy one and get one free, but only while stocks last, it's first come first served, and everyone's a winner, with this incredible, stunning, new, free, unbelievable, unmissable, countdown event-type happening. Time is fast running out, so act now, and avoid disappointment. You'll never forgive yourself, nor will your children, just think what would your wife/mother/husband/son/ daughter/live-in lover/significant other/ would say (Delete as appropriate), especially when you consider the modest investment. Dare you miss out? So take advantage of this offer today and sleep easier tonight. You know it makes sense!!!!!..

READER RESPONSE FROM FROM DAVE MASON: How about "with ___ convenient locations to serve you"? Should be"with 5 convenient locations to serve you and one out of the way place where they treat you like crap." And how about numbers? Especially the big places where there ain't a number to be seen. K-Mart big as life, but no number. "I guess we can't stop here, Martha. This can't be the K-Mart at 400 Oak street, there ain't no number on it."

"Sizzling deals for (insert season/holiday)"...unless it's steaks or Fords with the screwed up wiring, who wants it?.

Another one..."Savings so big, you need a shopping cart!!". How else you gonna get all the crap you buy from the aisles to the checkout. Trouble is you also need a shopping cart to carry the money you'll be needing.

READER RESPONSE FROM KEVIN SMITH:

Just got your e-mail regarding commercial killers, & it's hilarious AND tragic. Since I got here in April, I've noticed our writers are just as guilty as everyone else. Here's a couple more I can't believe anyone left out...

"PRICES TOO LOW TO MENTION ON THE RADIO!!!"

(more like too expensive, it'll scare you off)

"THE SALE TO START YOUR (place season here-spring, summer, etc.) OFF RIGHT.

(the tragedy is that one came off of my station!)

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