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Effective Radio Advertising Solves Problems.

Let’s see what problem this radio commercial solves, and then let’s analyze its construction.

If you’re outside the U.S., it might help to know that “the big game” = The Super Bowl.

Because “Super Bowl” is trademarked, advertisers can’t use the term in their ads.

What Problem Does this Radio Commercial Solve?

The risk of running out of beer at your Superbowl party.

The Strengths of this Spot

1. It clearly identifies the problem…from the beginning of ad.

2. The humor is used to illustrate the problem…not just to show off the copywriter’s ability to be clever.

3. Each person whose story is told is given a name: Telly Ladstrop; Richard Adams; Megan White.

The use of names in these fictitious vignettes makes the stories (which, remember, illustrate the problem) more vivid in the listener’s mind’s eye.

4. The message is presented with deliberately casual language. The clearest example is referring to “the fridge” rather than “the refrigerator.”

5.  The name of the advertiser isn’t mentioned until after the problem has been clearly defined.

Total Wines & More isn’t the star of these stories; it’s simply the solution to the problem.

6. The spot ends on a naturally humorous note that remains consistent with and reinforces the commercial’s single Core Message.

The Minor Weaknesses of this Spot

1. The use of natural, conversational language momentary fell away when the announcer referred to “1.5 liter” party size.

How would a real person refer to that size? “One-and-a-half liters.”

“One-point-five liters” simply didn’t fit the rest of the dialogue the announcer delivered.

2. The only other “character” we hear is a woman.

While I haven’t seen the research data, I’m pretty sure that People Who Have Friends Over to Watch the Superbowl and Don’t Want to Run Out of Beer are predominantly men, not women.

It would’ve been better to hear a male voice suffering the consequences of running out of beer, because the target audience would more easily identify with a man than with a woman.

3.  The female character was presented as a cartoon voice, further distancing her character from the target audience.

4.  The commercial’s producer fell down on the job by not noticing and correcting the announcer’s one blunder: People don’t say “tv ROOM.” They say “tee-VEE room” or “TEE-vee room.”

Just as “1.5 liters” momentarily jolted us out of the reality of the situation being presented, “tv ROOM” distracted us from the story…for a moment.

Those mistakes didn’t prevent the radio advertisement from being much better than most and, more importantly, attracting and maintaining the attention of the target audience.


39 Audiobooks in 43 Seconds

Here’s a 43-second sampling of 39 of the 700 audiobooks produced (so far) by graduates of the ACX Master Class in less than two years.

Most of the class members were completely new to audiobook production. But they sure learned fast.

Registration for the 2016 ACX Master Class has closed.

Video FAQs re: Audiobooks


Radio Commercial Can’t Even Get Its Clichés Right

Once, during a radio copywriting workshop I conducted for a state broadcasters association, I mocked the use of clichés in commercial copy.

This offended a station account executive in the audience.

“Clichés must work,” she said. “Otherwise, people wouldn’t use them all the time.”

Um…Well,  no.

Copywriters use clichés either because they’re lazy or, more likely, they don’t know any better.

Here’s How Clichés Hurt Radio Commercial Copy

When you resort to clichés in your commercial copy, you invite listeners…to stop listening.

“You can lead a horse to water, but…”

“A bird in the hand is…”

“An ounce of prevention is…”

Each time you complete one of those in your mind, you no longer are actively listening to the spot.

If You Insist Upon Using Clichés, at Least Get Them Right.

5-Step Radio Copywriting System


47 Audiobook Narrators in 59 Seconds

We were able to fit only 47 audiobook narrators — all graduates of our ACX Master Class — into this 59-second video. I thought you might enjoy seeing some of them hard at work in their home studios.

In the past 21 months, our graduates — many of whom entered the class as complete “newbies” — have produced 700 audiobooks that now are on sale on Audible.com, Amazon.com and iTunes.

Registration for the 2016 class is open now…but for only a few days.

47 ACX Audiobook Narrators


Registration for the ACX Master Class has closed.

Use the form below to join our Alert List, and we’ll let you know if we decide to teach it again.