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At Last, A Humorous Radio Commercial That Sells the Product

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Effective Radio Advertising Solves Problems.

Let’s see what problem this radio commercial solves, and then let’s analyze its construction.

If you’re outside the U.S., it might help to know that “the big game” = The Super Bowl.

Because “Super Bowl” is trademarked, advertisers can’t use the term in their ads.

What Problem Does this Radio Commercial Solve?

The risk of running out of beer at your Superbowl party.

The Strengths of this Spot

1. It clearly identifies the problem…from the beginning of ad.

2. The humor is used to illustrate the problem…not just to show off the copywriter’s ability to be clever.

3. Each person whose story is told is given a name: Telly Ladstrop; Richard Adams; Megan White.

The use of names in these fictitious vignettes makes the stories (which, remember, illustrate the problem) more vivid in the listener’s mind’s eye.

4. The message is presented with deliberately casual language. The clearest example is referring to “the fridge” rather than “the refrigerator.”

5.  The name of the advertiser isn’t mentioned until after the problem has been clearly defined.

Total Wines & More isn’t the star of these stories; it’s simply the solution to the problem.

6. The spot ends on a naturally humorous note that remains consistent with and reinforces the commercial’s single Core Message.

The Minor Weaknesses of this Spot

1. The use of natural, conversational language momentary fell away when the announcer referred to “1.5 liter” party size.

How would a real person refer to that size? “One-and-a-half liters.”

“One-point-five liters” simply didn’t fit the rest of the dialogue the announcer delivered.

2. The only other “character” we hear is a woman.

While I haven’t seen the research data, I’m pretty sure that People Who Have Friends Over to Watch the Superbowl and Don’t Want to Run Out of Beer are predominantly men, not women.

It would’ve been better to hear a male voice suffering the consequences of running out of beer, because the target audience would more easily identify with a man than with a woman.

3.  The female character was presented as a cartoon voice, further distancing her character from the target audience.

4.  The commercial’s producer fell down on the job by not noticing and correcting the announcer’s one blunder: People don’t say “tv ROOM.” They say “tee-VEE room” or “TEE-vee room.”

Just as “1.5 liters” momentarily jolted us out of the reality of the situation being presented, “tv ROOM” distracted us from the story…for a moment.

Those mistakes didn’t prevent the radio advertisement from being much better than most and, more importantly, attracting and maintaining the attention of the target audience.

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