A Loyal Reader Writes:
“What do you think about using spots to try to find new business? Not in these particular words, but a la ‘Here’s why you should advertise on WXYZ radio.’ “
There’s nothing wrong with the concept of a radio station’s advertising on its own airwaves to attract new business.
Unfortunately, almost all stations that do so make the same mistake that most of their advertisers do: They talk about themselves, rather than talking to the targeted listener about that listener’s biggest problems.
If you’re a (Local) business owner, you want to get your
message out to as many (Local) residents as possible. That’s
why advertising with Radio X is such a wise choice. Did you
know that X% of (Local) residents listen to Radio X each
week? And Y% of the highly desirable 25-35 year old female
demographic say they tune in to Radio X more often than any
other (Local) radio station. When you advertise with Radio X,
one of our expert specialists will work closely with you to
craft an ad campaign specifically for your business and your
A typical radio commercial, right? The advertiser talking about how great the advertiser is…and asking for your business.
Here’s a generic example. I wrote it in 5 minutes for a fictitious client, making up the facts and the problem as I went along.
I own a printing shop in downtown (Local). Been a printer all
my life. But the business has changed a lot over the past 20
years. Probably within the past week YOU’VE printed
something at work or even at home that years ago you
would’ve taken a printer, right? Invitations, letterheads,
maybe even your own business cards. But there’s still a lot of
printing that you really need to have done by a professional. I
sat down with Marcie, one of Radio X’s account executives,
along with the station’s Creative Director. They really put my
business under a microscope, and together we realized that no
matter how much you can do on your own computer, you
really need us for your company’s full color, glossy
brochures. Our Radio X advertising campaign began 3
months ago, and they were right: We’ve increased our overall
sales by 14%. I’m Al Smith from Smithee The Printer, and
that’s my story.
ANNOUNCER: Radio X loves to help (Local)
businesses solve problems. (Call To Action goes here.)
1. I don’t identify the client who gives the testimonial until the very end, because:
A) I want some listeners to wonder, “Is this real? Or is this some radio announcer pretending to be a local business owner?” Saving his name (and the name of his business) until the end wipes away that doubt.
I love it when my audience enters into the conversation as skeptics…if I know they’ll conclude I’m “for real” before I’m done.
B) I don’t want it to sound like a commercial: “Hi, I’m Al Smith from Smithee The Printer, here to tell you why advertising on Radio X is the smartest thing I’ve ever done….”
2. I don’t have the guy giving the testimonial also give the commercial’s Call To Action, because that would transform him into a pitchman.
So to return to the original question: I can’t recommend a campaign that attempts to convince people “Why you should advertise on WXYZ radio.”
But a well-written, well-produced campaign (not necessarily testimonials) that shows local businesses how other local businesses have solved specific problems by advertising on your station? That could be a winner.