By Jeffrey Hedquist
You give your stories power when you tap into the familiar in the lives of your listeners. Much of our shared experience in the twenty-first century is in the form of audio.
Creating a radio commercial based on these sound experiences can establish resonance with your audience and give you some great opportunities for humor—if you deliver a twist on the familiar.
Let the audience know that it’s a parody fairly soon into the story.
A talking toy with an attitude, a car navigation system that makes personal comments about the driver, a discount store price check that mentions lower prices at the advertiser’s store, a disclaimer that takes up the entire commercial. There are endless possibilities. Okay, not endless, but quite a few.
Here are some suggested references: Airline pilots’ announcements. Flight attendants’ instructions. Elevator voice prompts. Talking toys. Video games. Computer voices. Discount stores P.A. announcements—price checks, lost children, etc. Fast food drive-thru speakers. Airport announcements—bags, smoking, flights. Car navigation voice. Answering machines’ preprogrammed announcements. Voice mail. On-hold announcements. Store or mall closing announcements. Instructional audio. Public transportation exit announcements. On-stage concert announcements. Hotel wake up calls. Political candidates mobile loudspeaker announcements. Public radio sponsorships. Pre-recorded telemarketing. On-air equal time apologies. Disclaimers. Supermarket clerks asking for a price check. School P.A. announcements—menus, daily activities. Hospital paging. Carnival barker. Ringside boxing announcer. Sports play-by-play.
Each of the above is begging to be parodied, so answer the call, and do the twist.
© 2002 Hedquist Productions, Inc.