Radio Results Blog

Seven Deadly Sins of Radio Advertising

Posted by Larry Julius on Tue, Oct 16, 2012 @ 03:28 PM

The best way to plan, create, and execute an effective radio advertising campaign is to avoid committing the seven deadly sins. Here is the list:

  1. Buying Quantity not Quality. The radio station with the most listeners is not necessarily the best station for your advertising.  Willy Sutton, the famous bank robber once said, "I rob banks because that's where the money is."  Similarly, you should only Effective Radio Advertising Portland Maine 7 Deadly Sinsadvertise your business on radio stations that specifically reach your defined target consumer.  A reputable advertising account executive can provide you with research that will demonstrate how likely their station's audience is to buy your product or service.  To learn more about avoiding this deadly sin, we suggest you read the article Radio Advertising on A Budget: Quality vs. Quantity.
  2. Including A Phone Number In Your Commercial. Nine-out-of-ten people forget a phone number within 5 seconds of hearing it.  Your radio commercial will comprise only 150 words.  Each digit of your phone number counts as one word.  So why waste ten precious words on something the listener will immediately forget.  Read more in our article: Should I Include A Phone Number In My Radio Commercial?
  3. Using The Word "Get" In Your Commercial. Look up 'get' in any dictionary and you will see at least 30 definitions ranging from "to receive" (e.g., I got a letter in the mail) to "acquire a mental grasp" (e.g., I get your jokes). Based on this diversity of meaning, writer and language consultant Nick Usborne says that 'get' is a poor excuse for a word. "Get is passive, feeble, limp, flabby, and gutless. It hints at action, but communicates almost nothing." If a word like 'get' communicates almost nothing, then you should not permit it to overtake your next radio commercial like linguistic kudzu. Instead, get-the-get-out and replace it with stronger more evocative language. Read more in our article: The One Word Your Radio Advertising Is Better Off Without.
  4. Advertising Just For Exposure.  You can die from exposure (just ask the Donner Party) or you can get arrested for exposure (just ask Pee Wee Herman).  Exposure is not a marketing objective that can help your business.  Your radio advertising should fulfill specific business priorities and translate into either a branding or promotional objective.  Branding objectives are designed to convince your target consumers to believe something about your business.  Promotional objectives are designed to compel your target consumers to take specific action in regard to your business.  Creating successful marketing objectives is covered in-depth in our Small Business Guide To Effective Radio Advertising.
  5. Only Considering Your Favorite Radio Station. Just because you like a radio station and you listen to it all the time doesn't mean your potential customers do the same.  The pre-disposition to think so is what psychologists call the "Halo Effect." To avoid falling victim to the "Halo Effect," advertisers should clearly define who their target consumer is and then seek objective research that indicates the radio stations that the target consumers prefer.  We recommend research from The Media Audit or GFK MRI. A reputable radio sales representative should be able to provide you with this information. To get a directory of all radio stations serving Southern Maine click here.
  6. Wandering Aimlessly: I have been listening to the radio all morning and have heard more than 30 commercials. It frustrates me to say that very few of these commercials had a point. They were each 150 words that wandered aimlessly for 60-seconds.  As each commercial ended I often had no idea, even, what the business did.  These advertisers all forgot the first rule of creating effective radio commercials: Do it With Purpose. Before a commercial is even written, the advertiser should be able to explain what they do for a living in about 10 seconds or in enough words to fit on a t-shirt (no more than 25 words). To learn more about installing purpose into your radio commercials, read our recent article: What's The Point: The First Step To Effective Radio Commercial.
  7. Using Non-Genuine Language and Emotion. Radio is not only an audio medium, it is olfactory as well.  Listeners can smell when advertisers are not being genuine.  The first step to achieving authenticity is to use real words, conversation, and sounds your target consumer would really experience.  Don't just say you're happy.  Giggle with delight, clap your hands, speak faster.  Don't just say your sad.  Choke-up, put a quiver in your voice, wipe away a tear.  Take a look at the video below to see how Coca Cola captured the thrill of a person riding a roller coaster for their recent radio campaign.


Radio Advertising On A Budget In Portland Maine

Tags: Radio Commercial, Effective Radio Advertising