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I don’t even know where to begin.

This aired on a Los Angeles radio station owned by a very large company that tries to convince advertisers that their creative/production staffs truly know how to create commercials that work.

Please, see if you can help with a constructive critique.

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  • Pete Brandtman June 28, 2010, 12:13 am

    Gee the disclaimer was longer then the actual add, apart from that , didn’t really entice me , in fact a crappy spot , really crappy , on what time they actually had to do the sell, they blew it big time

  • Rodney Olsen June 28, 2010, 12:45 am

    “Please, see if you can help with a constructive critique.”

    I could offer a critique but I don’t think it’d be all that constructive. I’m not sure I even understood what they’re selling.

  • Ray Remillard June 28, 2010, 12:52 am

    I could do a seminar on this one, but, for starters…Pick a target audience. Don’t just throw out a bunch of info as fast as possible. It speaks to no one.

  • Jym Dingler June 28, 2010, 1:27 am

    Ow. Head hurts. Ears burn. Hang on, taking painkillers… Homes for sale? That’s great, but WHERE? Awesome Town, population: not the people who came up with this.

  • Michael Reining June 28, 2010, 1:53 am

    Just off the top, after the first listen. I had no clue what was being sold in the ad until more than half way thru. Though there was a lot of sales words, it had no meaning to me and made me feel confused rather than excited to buy. The disclaimer was fast, but not enunciated, some of the words were slurred, it almost sounded lazy. Thinking back on it: Awesometown? Is that a place? Would locals know immediately where and what it is? I hope so, ’cause I sure didn’t. This is a good example of what I used to call 60 seconds of happy words. Anyone can string together a bunch of happy sounding sentences of sales copy. But it really doesn’t SELL anything.

  • Howard Joseph June 28, 2010, 2:22 am

    Like Michael said, I have no idea what this “Awesometown” is either. The first 7 seconds of this ad appears to be pure gibberish. I found myself spending the other 24 seconds trying to figure out what message the first 7 seconds was trying to convey.

    Maybe this would work as copy for a TV ad. That way you could use the visual side of it to explain what the audio side is trying to say.

    Or maybe just scrap the copy entirely and try again.

  • Tracy Elman June 28, 2010, 2:47 am

    After listening to it repeatedly I figured it out. Now I like it. The repetition of hearing the samething 7 times before the listener consiously remembers the ad is cut half the time here. So if you buy a Lenar home in Valencia, you get double the tax credits. Wow! It’s got the logic of the infomercials. Listen long time…

  • Dave Savage June 28, 2010, 3:41 am

    Just because this was produced by a local radio station it doesn’t mean they don’t know how to create ads that work. Many times a radio creative person’s hands are tied by what the client insists on.

  • Bill Stairs June 28, 2010, 5:11 am

    Okay Dan, you made that up, right?

    Who wants to invite their friends to Awesometown for a BBQ? Any developer that mades such a wild shot at the major premise is bound to screw up all that follows. This ad is a sympton, not the problem.

    The spot should have:
    ID’d the client sooner
    Shared their position
    Considered not just a call to action but imaging….as Ricky Ricardo would have said, “Awesometown has some ‘splaining to do.”
    Back off on tax credits, anyone shopping is aware
    If the disclaimer is legally requied, speed it up and run it in 3 seconds at the BEGINNING of the spot

    I disagree with those that think you can take a marginal spot and make it a good spot with a high reach a frequency. When we try the “stay the course” approach in radio, people just push a button.

    Bill Stairs
    Snakebitetown, Ca.

  • Jennifer Bennett June 28, 2010, 5:34 am

    The problem with this spot is that unless you’ve seen the Seinfeld episode about double dipping the chip (double dip, double dip) the humor / analogy makes no sense; therefore, leaving the listener feeling confused and probably a little annoyed. “Selective humor,” such as this, rarely works with such a general population. I think they would have been better off to remember to answer the one question that EVERY radio spot needs to succeed: “What’s in it for me?” (All I’ve got is my double dipped chip, and I’m not impressed..) Slice the tape and start over again! (lol–aging myself with reel-to-reel!!!)

  • Tess June 28, 2010, 5:46 am

    This sounds like an ad that’s aimed at car title/pay day loan demographic. Logic and linear thinking aren’t “necessary” in this case, just something flashy to get attention, get them in the door, and get papers signed as quick as possible. I assume it’s in a heavy rotation.

  • Neil Mathur June 28, 2010, 6:11 am

    Complete jibba-jabba. There was no story. I had no idea what they were selling. And the only thing worse than bad creative is bad creative followed by a disclaimer.

  • John Pellegrini June 28, 2010, 7:17 am

    I agree with everything everyone said above. That stated I would now like to attempt to translate the audio into an audio segment that will allow people to fully understand what the advertiser intended to say:
    “Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. BLAH BLAH BLAH blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah BLAH BLAH 485968290 332545869 049598690602986. 9374557289575763823. BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH 2w4342353466 BLAH BLAH BLAH!!!! Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.”
    I may have gone over 30 seconds with that so if you do attempt to produce it feel free to cut any of the numbers.

  • Chad P. June 28, 2010, 7:26 am

    At the beginning it sounded like he said “It’s hip to double hip” followed by “It’s hip to double-DIP.” I don’t even know what “double hip” means. I got the “double dip” joke but I’ve been watching Seinfeld for years. Advertising solves problems right Dan? Then someone please write a spot that explains what this one is trying to tell me b/c that’s the problem I currently have.

  • Mitch Krayton June 28, 2010, 8:17 am

    The sad fact is that Newhall Land and Farming, the original developers of the community of Valencia, CA, went broke and werebought by Lennar of Florida which went broke. New homes sales are dead in the water here, as they are all over the US.

    They think that branding the community as Awesome Town it’s a way to stimulate sales. Instead it is a juvenile attempt that is resented by everyone who lives here, including me. It sells nothing. Instead of calling the town a silly name, why not just shout out its benefits for living there?

    You can’t turn that pig into a sow’s ear in 30 seconds (or ever). When ever we hear or see that phrase now all we can think is ‘awful town’. Sad because this is a nice place to live.

  • Dalton Hooker June 28, 2010, 12:15 pm


    Goes to show that the economy cannot be all that bad if people still have money to pay for this kind of crap.

    Could not understand a lot of it. Does that make me stupid?? I would to think I am more intelligent than most, so what does that say about the target audience.

    When I hear disclaimers in an ad, that usually tells me to avoid that particular product. Reminds of many “health” products being offered today. The understated disclaimers read in the throwaway lines always quickly cover off the side-effects that are usually worse that the original condition that is being treated.

  • J. Christopher Dunn June 28, 2010, 2:34 pm

    Eh? The disclaimer came and I had no idea what was being disclaimed. Icky!

  • Steve Willoughby June 28, 2010, 2:39 pm


    This spot is perfect.

    If you are looking for strong evidence on why our industry is not getting more of the advertising dollar. Awesome town sounds like the pay off of a really bad pick up line.

    Hey baby — the way you look, you must live in awesome town.

    Admittedly, I don’t know the demo of A.T. — but I have never heard anyone talking about needing a place to live in terms of Hip to Double whatever — It does sound like they had some fairly strong points to communicate.

    1. Ready to move in now —
    2. Save money with tax credits —

    I am thinking perhaps adding a location and the benefits of such a location.

  • Gairy Callam June 29, 2010, 7:44 am

    Okay. What exactly were they advertising. Confusion. I’m lost and have no intention of replaying that bit. Nuff Said.

  • Larry July 1, 2010, 4:50 pm

    Don’t blame the production people. This stuff is dictated to be read “as is” by and AE with out a creative clue.
    This is a perfect situation to invite the production team in to the creative process. They have the chops to make it better.

  • Brian Nicholas July 2, 2010, 10:51 am

    I’m with Larry. I’m almost postive that the creative team had no say in the production of this.

    After listening three times, I think it’s a spot for a home bulider. What I never heard was why I would want to live there. Other than it’s awesome, of course. Everything in awesometown must be awesome.

    To say that the buyer can get double tax credits means nothing. About how much in real dollars does that mean? I’m neither a tax attorney nor a realtor, so I have no idea.

    I think I’ll move to coolsburg instead.

  • Greg Nelson September 12, 2010, 9:23 am

    What the hell was that???

  • Roger Hartsook September 13, 2010, 7:34 am

    Where was the unique selling proposition? They are ten seconds deep into the spot before you get a glimmer it has to do with housing. Then the last ten seconds is a disclaimer. That means we had a 10 second window and they made poor use of it.
    The big company made use of their production techniques without having a solid message.

  • Anonymous September 13, 2010, 10:47 am

    The listener left the scene of this crime 5-seconds into the commercial.
    The word \home\ flew by at the :15 mark. Had I not been listening intensely (how many listeners do that?) I would not have known what I was double dipping.
    Hey, If you absolutely positively need a disclaimer THAT LONG, buy a 60, and do something creative with the disclaimer.

  • Sid Milburn September 13, 2010, 2:00 pm

    Fire the person that wrote the copy. If it was the client, have the sales rep “help” this person write any future spots. It made no sense. I listened to it twice and still have no idea what the disclaimer was for Furthermore, why was it read at normal speed? By the way, is “awesome town” a new housing development?

    And… I thought that L.A. jocks were supposed to be the best in the land. Where did they get this “puker”? On a scale of A for excellence and F for failure, I rate this spot an “F”. It is bad all the way around. Maybe there is hope for my little production company. If this is indicative of the level of quality being produced in a major market such as La La land, I can without a doubt tell clients that I produce better stuff than the major market “production wizards”.

  • Scott MacDermott September 23, 2010, 11:08 am

    Hey Dan

    I played this commercial for our sales team. GM and producer at our weekly creative meeting. At first they were speechless but eventually opened up. Some of the comments: Too much copy. Didn’t know who the spponsor was: Awesome town, Lenard New Home Showplace or the Melenzia in melenzia.com. No relationship between website and name of homes. Awful disclaimer which probably legally had to be there. They liked the announcer.

    Some wished you had provided background information so we could try and figure out what the objective of this mess was.

  • Dan O'Day September 23, 2010, 4:15 pm

    @Scott: I understand their wish, but consider this: The radio listener isn’t provided any advance perspective before a commercial plays on the radio.

    Plus. I have no idea. I only heard it on the radio.


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