Radio Results Blog

One Word Maine Small Business Owners Should Avoid In Radio Ads

Posted by Larry Julius on Sun, Nov 06, 2016 @ 04:03 PM

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A commercial on Potland radio could cost as much as $1.00 per word.  So, it is important that Maine small business owners meticulously choose each word to convey the intended message.  This applies especially to the verbs.  

According to The Writing Center at The University of Houston, "one of the best ways of grabbing and keeping [an audience] is to use strong descriptive verbs."

So why was the word 'get' used, by my count, 42 times in the last 7 radio commercials I just listened to?  'Get' and its various conjugations (gets, got, gotten) are not strong, descriptive verbs. Everytime the the word 'get' is included in a radio commercial, $1.00 has been wasted.

'GET' IS A PURE EXCUSE FOR A WORD
 
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 it should not permitted to overtake a radio commercial like linguistic kudzu. Instead, to make a radio commercial more effective get-the-get-out. Replace it with stronger more evocative language.

Here are some of examples of 'get' I just heard with some recommended, stronger verb choices:

Auto-Dealer Commercial: "Get the lowest prices in Maine." This could be made stronger: "Score the lowest prices...," "Drive Away with the lowest prices...," or, my favorite, "Seize the lowest prices in Maine.

Bank Commercial: "Get the highest-return possible."  This could be made stronger: "Earn the highest return...," "Reap the highest return..., or "Secure the highest return possible."  Since this is a bank, I really, really like 'secure.'

Health Club Commercial: "Get the body you want."  This could be made stronger: "Achieve the body....," "Possess the body...," or even "Build the body you want."

I think you get (understand) my point.  When your get (receive) your next radio script, get (grab) your red-pencil and get (find) every instance of 'get'. Who knows, you might get (win) a copywriting award.
 
More great advice for your next commercial on Portland radio:

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Tags: Portland Maine Radio, Small Business Marketing, Small Business Advertising, Maine Small Business, Portland Radio, maine small business owner