By Jeffrey Hedquist
All good radio commercials are designed to capture a share of your audience’s mind. You could call it branding. As Roy Williams says, “Branding is implanting an associative memory with a recall cue.”
As you craft radio commercials for an advertiser — hopefully as part of a continuing campaign — keep in mind that no matter what kind of commercial it is — image, event, co-op, item, or sale — make sure it brands. Make sure it tells the story about the listener’s involvement with the advertiser, positions the advertiser, reinforces the advertiser’s USP (Unique Selling Proposition), is set within the larger context of the campaign, and not just a stand-alone commercial.
Now, name 2 sale commercials or holiday commercials that you still remember. Too often special event spots sound nothing like the rest of the campaign. An event spot that focuses only on the items, prices or discounts, and time-frame will only live in the memories of the listeners for the duration of the sale or event.
If you create the story of that sale or event in the same context as the rest of your 52-week campaign, it will reinforce the branding that you’ve already worked so hard to establish.
For example, if your campaign is created around the adventures of two characters, have those same characters tell a story, or do humorous interviews, give news reports about the sale, relate their experiences at the sale, or after the sale.
The vast majority of your audience won’t immediately respond to the sale, or item, or event for a variety of reasons. Don’t waste the opportunity to leave them with information, a good feeling, a reinforcement of the USP, because sometime in the future, they will be ready to make a purchase. If every commercial they’ve heard for the advertiser consistently reinforces the branding, they’ll be more likely to remember them.
© 2001 Hedquist Productions, Inc.