It's been 90 years since the first radio commercial was broadcast. Clearly, practice does not make perfect because there are still lots of bad commercials on the air. If you utlize these five tips, however, your commercial will be profoundly effective.
Five Tips For A Great Radio Commercial
1 Decide exactly what you want your target consumer to do or to believe as a result of hearing your commercial. Marketers refer to this as the "call-to-action". Your commercial should be limited to only one call-to-action and it should be very, very specific. All 150 words of your commercial should be used to compel your target to take the action you intended. Words and ideas that do not support your singular call-to-action should be eliminated.
2. Start your commercial with a declarative benefit statement. Since you only have 150 words, don't waste your first sentence on rhetorical flare. Many ineffective commercials begin with a question. For instance: "In the market for a new lawnmower?...". The first seven words of the commercial elapses without providing any useful information to the listener. A more engaging approach could be, "Take the grass work out of your weekend with the power of a Toro lawnmower from Jim's Garden Supply". In fewer than 20 words you've stated a benefit (reclaim your weekend from lawn work) and introduced the solution (by buying a Toro lawnmower from Jim's Garden Supply).
3. Use Unexpected Language and avoid clichés like the plague. The language you use in your commercials is a reflection of your business. If your commercial is burdened with tired, over used phrases, then your business will be perceived as unoriginal and uninspired. For instance, if you believe the commercials, then every business in Maine is "conveniently located". As a consequence, the phrase "conveniently located" is discounted by consumers as having no benefit. In a compelling twist of that phrase, a local jewelry chain that, by choice, has no mall stores successfully describes itself as "inconveniently located". That unexpected use of language gets caught in the ear of listeners and creates a lasting memory of the commercial.
4. State The Unobvious. Too many commercials waste precious words on stating the obvious: "Christmas comes once a year" (Duh!); "Are gas prices bringing you down" (No, I love taking out a second mortgage when I fill-up); or "Open every evening until 8 P.M." (really, until now I thought 8 P.M. happened every morning). A more powerful use of words is to state the unobvious to engage listeners: "The Sales Associates at Mountain Furniture don't work on a commission, they are paid on customer satisfaction."; "On average, The Doctors at Memorial Hospital graduated third from their medical school class."; or "The flowers and shrubs at Meadowbrook Nursery are grown from seed in the rocky soil of Maine in order to tough out the ravages of your garden." In each of the above cases, customers would appreciate knowing these things about a business (but they don't need to be told that Christmas comes once a year).
5 .Use The Name Swap Test. Before you pay for a radio commercial do the following. Go through the script, replace your company’s name with the name of your biggest competitor. If the commercial works easily as well for your competitor, then throw it out and start over. A great radio commercial should only work for one business....yours!