Radio Hed: Exaggerate

Radio-Hed-Logo-2By Jeffrey Hedquist

Often, when we’re stuck for words when writing radio, we need to step back and forget the script, and think about the idea. What about the product, the service, the store, or the people inspire us? Often, tasting, touching, researching or using a product or service will help us discover the most powerful point to make.

What’s the most surprising way you can make that point? Often it’s by exaggerating. Take the most salient benefits and play the exaggeration game with each of them. If you have kids or can find some willing to play with an adult, engage them in this exercise. They have great imaginations and will be much less inhibited than we are in coming up with exaggerations.

Start with the benefit:

“Getting a new auto loan from our bank is so quick that…”

Then list as many possibilities as you can think of:

…You’ll have an answer before you can hang up the phone, or we’ll call you on your cell phone while you’re on your way out of our parking lot, or your nails won’t have a chance to dry, or you won’t even have time for fast food, or…you get the idea.

You can develop the idea from exaggerating problems that can be solved by the advertiser:

“You’re so tired of waiting in line that…” “You’re so fed up with high prices for bottled water that…” “You’re so frustrated with complex cell phone plans that…”

Now, don’t just state the exaggeration as you’ve written it, but use it to develop stories about people your target audience can relate to. Try to keep your stories focused on making one powerful benefit per commercial.

Exaggeration is a powerful way to bring a big idea to life. “It can make writing a good radio spot so easy…your friends won’t believe you did it yourself…you’ll have to exaggerate how much time it took you to write it…you’ll be making more money than you know what to do with…”

© 2004 Hedquist Productions, Inc.

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