Most small businesses don't have a high powered
advertising agency to produce selling radio
commercials for them and end up with something
akin to a high school play, or with the business
owner reading tired copy.
The radio salesperson knows that by suggesting the
owner be the star, visions of Dave from Wendys or
that guy with the talking dog who says "roll that
beautiful bean footage" come to mind.
Worse, most businesses don't have a plan to
coordinate all advertising to the same message.
The newspaper ad says one thing, yellow pages
another and the radio commercial is off in its own
The radio ad person should know all about your
campaign and image before leaving with the order.
You should be promised a "proof" of your radio
ad before it goes on the air. There should be at
least two commercials, better four, selling the
Remember Tom Bodett and Motel 6? A great campaign.
It was just Tom delivering solid copy about the
benefits of staying at the motel (and a little
twinkle music in the background). It won awards,
put them on the map and raised occupancy rates and
profits. The company was gobbled up by the Accor
chain (one of the biggest in the world) who have
the smarts to continue the same campaign. What
does he say at the end of every commercial?
Radio done right works!
Maybe you can't get the local station to come up
with Tom Bodett quality but there is nothing wrong
with solid copy pitching benefits, benefits
benefits. Answer the question WIIFM (Whats In It
For Me). You don't have to be cute, use lame
humor, two voices or loud music to do that.
BIG Mike's Tips for Better Radio Ads
? Buy more than one station (ones that target your
customers, not ones you like)
? Buy 24 or more ads per week on one and 24 ads
the following week on the other, alternate for
four weeks, take four weeks off and do it again.
? Rotate two to four commercials, all with the
same overall theme and opening and closing lines
and change the meat in the middle (they call 'em
? Don't let the radio person talk you into being
the star. Remember, its not about you. There is
no need to spend a bundle to have 3 friends say
"I heard you on the radio" or "I saw your mug on
the billboard". That's not advertising.
? Don't let some drama school dropout cook up a
slice of life commercial by dragging the
receptionist into the studio to play a part.
They never sell.
Pick a plan and stick with it. Tell 'em to trade
the cutsey stuff for real substance. Coordinate
your radio with your other advertising and you can
benefit from the power of electronic word of
For more about advertising get my article
"Cable Ads 5 Bucks"
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?2005 BIG Mike McDaniel All Rights Reserved
BIG Mike is a Professional Speaker and Small
Business Consultant with over 30 years experience,
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