Creative writers will tell you there are only two real story plots: "A man goes on a journey" and "a stranger comes to town." Magicians will tell you there are only 5 original magic tricks and all others are just derivative. Similarly, according to The Small Business Guide to Effective Radio Advertising, there are only two types of commercials:
- Branding...commercials that want you to believe something about the product or service being advertised
- Promotional...commercials that want you to take action in regard to the product or service being advertised
So, like great authors and magicians who have limited building blocks for their craft, great radio copywriters steal. It's a tradition.
As we said before, the creative arts are full of thieves. Painter Pablo Picasso said, "Good artists borrow, great artists steal." Writer William S. Burroughs said, “All writing is in fact cut-ups. A collage of words read heard overheard.” Poet T.S., Eliot says, “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different." But according to filmmaker Jean-Luc Goddard, stealing is just not enough. Goddard said, “It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.”
Over the past year, we have published two of our most popular articles ever, Six Great Foreign Radio Commercials Worth Stealing and Wide World of Spots: 5 More Foreign Radio Commercials Worth Stealing. So, we are inviting our readers to commit 'grand theft radio' once again with 5 more foreign radio commercials worth stealing. But, it's okay! If you hear a radio commercial you like, then figure out what makes it effective and steal it...you'll be in good company.
1. Eclipse Breath Freshening Gum, Chile...This commercial starts with a primordial distress signal: a baby's cry. We remain engaged as the mother does her best to calm the child only to realize she is the cause of the discomfort. Take a listen:
2. Union Hearing Centre, Canada...This commercial is very clever. Instead of using cleverly crafted words to make its point, the commercial uses the medium itself to compel the listener to act. Wow!
3. Benzac, Anti-Acne Cleansing Cream, South Africa...Although the tale told in this commercial is tragic, the results are hilarious...or at least that's what my inner-12-year-old self says. You won't smell the final twist of this commercial coming.
4. The University of Music Hanover, Germany...This commercial hits just the right note. It challenges every listener, but only the intended target will find it music to their ears. This spot does not fall flat.
5. Marvin Magazine, Mexico...This commercial commands attention through a harsh, discordant mixture of parallel sound. It resolves into an unexpected yet harmonic conclusion. In the end, the complex audio construction of the commercial reveals itself as the message.