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Do Your Radio Ads Work?

by Big Mike McDaniel

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 world.

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 benefits.

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 donuts)
  • 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 mouth, radio.

Discuss this in our Forum

About the Author:

BIG Mike McDaniel is a media professional with over 30 years experience. BIG Mike, a former Major Market TV News Anchor and Successful Radio Station Owner is a Business Consultant who works full time to help people in business with sales, advertising and promotion ideas that REALLY work! Visit http://www.bigmikeonline.com for free eWorkshops, free eBooks and a free Newsletter

Copyright 2004 BIG Mike McDaniel - All Rights Reserved -




















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