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MONDAY RADIO COMMERCIAL SMACKDOWN – Mini Cooper Ad Delivers Mini Results

Buried somewhere within this mess is a radio commercial copywriting technique that I teach during my annual Radio Copywriting Masters class.

First, the radio ad:

The quickstart copywriting technique I teach is something I call Transitional Trivia. It’s a surprisingly easy way to discover new ad campaign ideas by using random trivia.

(For the serious copywriting enthusiasts reading this, it’s my version of a brilliant idea by the late Gary Halbert.)

But in this inane, money wasting commercial, the trivial fact (“the earth is 25,000 miles around”) is buried amidst the overuse of words and sounds, and the connection to the intended sales message is buried along with it.

Did you notice how you had trouble paying attention to the entire advertisement? Imagine the impact on the typical radio listener who does NOT stop everything in order to listen closely to a commercial.

Presumably some Southern California Mini Cooper dealer has an in-law with an ad agency….

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  • Neal Angell September 19, 2011, 1:24 am

    And I don’t know if it was the fast read or because it’s an odd phrase (probably a little of both) but I had to listen closely, rewinding a few times, to understand “Mini boot to bonnet…”

    I don’t know much about the Mini Cooper (I’ve read it described as a “tiny sports car”) or who their target buyer is, but I know they must not be targeting me, as I have no interest in purchasing/driving/being seen in/parking anywhere near a car with a “bonnet.”

  • scott snailham September 19, 2011, 2:39 am

    On the plus side, I think the voice casting is well done. The delivery and tone works for what it is. As much as Dan likes to focus on the copy, I also like to consider production and delivery.

    Still, its cluttered trying to be cute. I would think it was targeting females because it was trying to be cute, but who knows. The bottom line important stuff comes in a 5 sec tag for us guys anyway.

  • Harley Benner September 19, 2011, 3:27 am

    Many problems, but let me sum up…10 pounds of fertilizer in a 5 pound bag.

  • John Marshall September 19, 2011, 7:15 am

    Of the many problems with this script: go “past Mexico.” Apparently the Mini is an amphibious vehicle, too, otherwise you would drive “through” Mexico, wouldn’t you?