Creative radio commercials need strategic focus
Are creative radio commercials less common than they used to be?
Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like radio advertising has gotten boring. I listen to the radio just about every day (trust me, so does everyone else who commutes in Atlanta), so I hear quite a few commercials. And I have to admit that most of the time, I’m not impressed.
Where’d the creative radio commercials go?
Most of the spots I hear are not unique. They don’t grab my attention. They don’t stand out. But even worse, most of them don’t have a selling idea—they don’t focus on a benefit or leave the listener with a reason to buy.
To see what I mean, listen to this spot I did for Powertel a few years ago. Like most creative radio commercials, it doesn’t try to communicate too much. It focuses on just one product benefit—the amazing clarity and sound quality of Powertel’s digital network.
play “Sick Call”
Here’s another commercial from my past, for Trans World Airlines. This one focuses on a single benefit too—TWA’s first class upgrade policy.
The power of focused ideas
In my opinion, the best creative radio commercials are single minded. Instead of jumping around from selling point to selling point, they stick to just one. As the old adage goes, it’s better to say one thing well than many things poorly.
Here’s one I did for Georgia Power. Like the others, it focuses on a single benefit—Georgia Power’s below-average power rates.
play “Electric Bill Shock”
The next example is slightly different. This commercial for CDW demonstrates how they know what their customers go through every day. It was based on an insight—IT people feel like nobody understands them.
play “We Understand”
As these examples show (at least I hope so), creative radio commercials can be very effective. Using theater of the mind and other storytelling techniques, they explain and sell products in a truly memorable way. If only more advertisers would take advantage of radio’s vast potential as a selling medium.