HOW TO IDENTIFY A "GOOD" RADIO COMMERCIAL BEFORE IT AIRS
by Dan O'Day
A Loyal Reader Asks:
"How do you determine what is good advertising before it airs?
Who can't say That was a good commercial' after it has aired and accomplished or surpassed its goal?
If entertainment value is not a definitive element of a good ad (you won't have any argument from me there), then what are some sure-fire elements of a good spot?"
While you cannot absolutely guarantee that any given commercial will be a success, there are certain elements that will maximize the likelihood of the message delivering the desired results. Those elements include:
* A single, clear, concise core message (vs. a "shotgun" approach that delivers a multitude of messages in the hopes that one of them happens to appeal to the targeted consumer)
* Attracts the attention of the target audience from the very beginning of the spot
* Talks to the targeted listener about something of interest to that listener (vs. the all-too-typical spot that talks about the advertiser).
* Solves a consumer problem
* Utilizes the natural language of the targeted consumer (not advertiser-speak)
* Involves the listener in the sales message
* Allows the listener to see himself enjoying the benefits of the product or service being advertised
* Utilizes "characters" with whom the target audience can identify. (Note: If it's a solo voiced "announcer" spot, the person speaking is a character.)
* Delivers a compelling Unique Selling Proposition. The "U.S.P." is the answer to the question, "Why should I spend my money with your enterprise rather than with your competitor's?"
* Paints pictures that deliver the sales message
* Tells an instantly attention-focusing story that is intertwined with the sales message
* Tells the listener exactly how to act on the sales message
* Motivates the listener to act by including a genuine deadline beyond which this irresistible offer no longer will be available
* Uses few enough words to allow the voice talent to deliver the sales message effectively, without rushing
* Uses music and sound effects only if they enhance the effectiveness of the sales message. (Slapping on a canned music bed to run underneath the voice track rarely accomplishes this.)
* Airs with enough repetition to enter the consciousness of the targeted listener
Will any or all of the above guarantee the effectiveness of any particular commercial? No.
But they'll darn sure increase the odds.