2 keys to great radio ads: research and analysis

Truth in advertising from the movie, “Crazy People.”

When a writer spends little or no time on research and analysis, your radio campaign will suffer.

You deserve better.

They need to understand your products, services and competitive advantages.

Those principles apply to all forms of internet marketing. Let’s focus on radio for now.

The Wrong Way

The process begins when the sales rep will hit you with the dreaded question: What do you want to say in your ads?

Then, they may email a copy request form to the writer. Something like this (the client is fictional).

  • Sunshine Weight Loss Centre
  • spring fever sales event on now
  • save up to 20% on programs for a limited time
  • friendly, knowledgable staff, newly renovated store
  • lose up to 20 pounds by Victoria Day
  • voted Calgary’s favourite weight loss in Explore Calgary magazine
  • open Monday to Friday 9 till 6, Saturdays 9 till 4
  • 42 Epson Street, Unit 4, conveniently located in downtown Calgary
  • website: Sunshine Weight loss.ca , like us on facebook and instagram.

That poor writer. Juggling clients, meetings, and an inbox full of requests, changes and questions. So, they come up with this…

The Spring Fever Sales Event is on now at Sunshine Weight Loss Centre. For a limited time, save up to 20% on all programs. Let the friendly, knowledgable staff at Sunshine Weight Loss help you lose up to 20 pounds by Victoria Day. Visit their newly renovated store, conveniently located at 42 Epson Street, Unit 4, in Downtown Calgary. Voted Calgary’s favourite weight loss store by Explore Calgary magazine. Visit Sunshine Weight Loss.ca or like Sunshine Weight Loss on Facebook and Instagram.

What’s wrong with that script? Plenty.

How about this?

You can lose up to 20 pounds by Victoria Day! Sunshine Weight Loss Centre will help you achieve your goals. Start by saving 20% off all programs until April 20th! Their expert staff will be with you every step of the way, in a friendly, relaxing environment. Check out the newly renovated store and the new SuperTrack treadmills. Get ready to smile, at Sunshine Weight Loss Centre, at 42 Epson Street in Downtown Calgary. See them online at Sunshine Weight Loss, dot c-a, and stay up to date by following them on Facebook and Instagram.

Much better.

Farewell to the horrible cliches. Knowledgable staff? I hope so. Conveniently located? Not if you’re 20 miles away.

“Visit” website? One of the many tips I picked up from Dan O’Day was, prepare the listener for a web address by saying, “online” or “log on to.” Visit has several meanings. “Log on” says there’s a web address coming.

Never say, “for a limited time.” Create immediacy with an actual date.

Speaking of websites…

My first step after receiving the copy request is to check out the client’s website. See who they are and what they’re all about. Is there a dog in the store? Mention that furry friend.

“Say hi to Rex, the bull terrier.”

Step two…analysis.

What would a potential customer find most appealing in your copy points? Focus on the benefits. The details that address a need or solve a problem for the listener.

Another “Crazy People” campaign

Combine your online personality with the supplied info from the sales rep.

Don’t many radio station copywriters use similar techniques? Yes. But many more are slaves to the sausage grinder.

They’re saddled with a variety of chores. Voicetracking, social media posting, giving out prizes, changing light bulbs. They’re trying to keep up.

Invest in a writer who takes the time to understand your challenges. That will boost your bottom line.

Let them research and analyze. Never settle for retyping or listeners will never know your real story.

About johnnymaraca

sole proprietor of Maraca Media, former radio host (Johnny Maraca's Rock & Roll Riot), copywriter and producer and a print journalism grad.
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