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MONDAY RADIO COMMERCIAL SMACKDOWN: To Make A Difference, People Need To Hear You

Let’s pretend you’re listening to the radio.

After you click the “Play” button below, look at something other than your computer monitor. Anything. (Very few people stare at their radios while listening.)

Did you notice how difficult it was to focus on the message?

Imagine the impact on a radio audience member who has absolutely no incentive to “listen” to the commercial. Instead, the spot needs to make itself heard, rather than hoping people listener hard enough.

Why did this happen?

Because they squeezed that script into a 30-second frame. The announcer had to talk much too fast for people to listen easily.

The best solution would have been to make it a :60. Yes, most Australian radio spots are :30s. But they do have :60s.

It’s possible that Nova 96.9 donated the air time and, as a rule, doesn’t “donate” 60-second spots. That doesn’t matter. Donating 30 seconds of ineffective advertising accomplishes only two goals:

1.  Makes the advertiser feel good.

2.  Allows the radio station to claim credit for public service.

But imagine how immeasurably stronger the impact would’ve been if the announcer had been allowed 60 seconds in which to deliver that message.

If it absolutely had to be a :30, then the copywriter needed to cut out half the copy.

On, one more thing: What’s the Call To Action?

Is the goal of this radio spot to get the listener to “look out for One Water at your local Woolworth’s”?

Or is it to get the listener to “find out more” by going to their website?

An effective radio commercial needs exactly one Call To Action. This spot has one too many.

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  • Simon Rushton February 18, 2012, 8:12 am

    Although most ads seem to be sold as 30s, nn the UK we had the deliciousness of 10 second increments. So we could have done a 40 or a 50. In the US I heard a lot of ads that were just too long as a 60 and in the UK ads that were crammed into 30 that should have been given more time to breath. I thing if this example was extended to 60, I’m not sure it would have improved MUCH except for an acceptable rate of delivery (natural spoken word).

    At one radio station I worked at the Sales team were not allowed (by the management) to dictate the length of the spot… although we were always aware of the budget of the client. (give them the choice of the 20″ spot and the 40″ spot it was amazing how many times they could find the extra money)

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