By Jeffrey Hedquist
One of your biggest challenges as a radio creator is to fish out the benefits from a sea of features. You need to harvest the most powerful ones to resonate with your target audience.
Here’s a technique I stole…uh, borrowed from Steve Kopcha (DMB&B, McCann-Erickson) now Advertising Department Chair, MO School of Journalism, U of MO. It’s called the “What / So What” Technique.
As you analyze the product or service for which you’re writing, every time you get a feature, ask yourself in the voice of the listener, “So what?” as in, “What’s in it for me?” Your answer should be a benefit. Then ask, “So what?” again and again, each time leading you to a deeper core benefit.
You’ll get past the features fairly quickly, and somewhere in this “What / So What” process, an especially meaningful benefit will jump out at you and you’ll say, “That’s it!” (Or something equally demonstrative). You’ve arrived at THE benefit. That’s where your power to influence is. Write your commercial around that benefit.
Let’s say it’s a commercial for a meal delivery service. This company will deliver meals from a variety of fine area restaurants to your home or business for a small fee.
So What? So, you can get a variety of delicious meals brought to your table or desk by making a phone call, or accessing a web site.
So What? So, you can save all the time that you’d spend driving to a restaurant, waiting in line, ordering, paying and driving back, and use that time to do business.
So What? So, now you’ve leveraged your time for a small fee and can be more productive…
So What? …which enables you to earn more, or help more customers, or spend more time with your family Now you’re creating a commercial for a service which gives the listener a great benefit – the gift of time.
As you discover multiple core benefits, create commercials for each one, making a powerful campaign. If your client is open to it, have them participate while you use the technique. They’ll understand how you arrived at the commercial message and they’ll possibly gain insight into how their audience might perceive it.
© 2003 Hedquist Productions, Inc.