1. The commercial begins the advertiser’s name. That tells us, “This message is all about us, not about you.”
2. The commercial begins with the advertiser’s name, followed by “Valentine’s Day.” That tells us, “This message is all about us, not about Valentine’s Day.”
3. The copywriter crammed so many words into those 15 seconds that the announcer has to talk too quickly for us to want to pay attention.
4. The copywriter crammed so many words into those 15 seconds that the announcer has to talk too quickly for us to understand every word she’s saying.
5. Pretending for the moment that anyone would listen closely enough — perhaps recording the spot to enable listening over and over again — there’s no way for listeners to know what the copywriter is trying to say.
• Buy a Valentine’s Day gift at Kevin Jewelers?
• Buy a diamond ring for $89?
• Buy a topaz ring for $89?
• But a diamond for only “$49 a month”?
• They’ll let you buy on credit regardless of how un-creditworthy you are?
• Take up to 5 years to pay?
• Something about love?
“Oh,” some readers might object. “but it’s not possible to do an effective job of selling in just 15 seconds.”
Response #1: Of course it is. It’s even possible to create effective 10-second radio campaigns.
The catch, of course, is you’ve got to know what you’re doing.
Response #2: If you believe it’s impossible to sell effectively in a 15-second spot, then why are you letting the radio station sell you (probably as part of a package) 15 spots?
If They Had a Core Message and Knew What They Were Doing, They Could Have Succeeded.
The Core Message is the one thing you want the targeted listener to hear, to understand, and to remember.
If the Core Message had been “Kevin’s Jewelers for Valentine’s gifts,” the spot might begin:
“Valentine’s Day. You want to get her something beautiful and romantic. And you don’t have much money to spend…”
If the Core Message had been “Buy a diamond ring for $89”:
“She’s the love of your life. For Valentine’s Day, you want to give her a million-dollar diamond ring…but at the moment you’ve got $89. No problem….”
So What Was the Real Core Message of this Jewelry Store Radio Commercial?
“We’ve got 15 seconds. Let’s see how much stuff we can jam in there.”