February 2011 Highlights

Feature: Zen and the Art of Staring at a Blank Screen

by Matt Anthony

It was the fifth shot that I'd sent soaring out into the rough, near the huge nets that were set up on both sides of the driving range. I had been asked by my new golf instructor to simply take a few swings, so that he might observe some rudimentary things about his new pupil. However, I was not making a very favorable impression on my teacher. If I didn't dribble a few off the toe of my 9-iron, then I was consistently sending balls over towards the net on the right, cascading shots that resembled the arc of a boomerang, except the only way the balls were returning is if that guy in the pro-shop jumped in that caged-vehicle and retrieved them later in the afternoon. I was embarrassed. "You know, I think it's these clubs," I said, wiping the perspiration from my forehead. "Golf magazine just had an article about this last month. You think fitted clubs might be part of the solution?" He had been smoking while watching me, but then stood up, tossing his cigarette off to the side. "Let me see that club." Flicking a ball from the pile that had rolled out of the wire-bucket on the ground to his right, he gazed down the middle of the fairway, lined the ball up just to the right of his left in-step, took a three-quarter backswing, and released into that range-ball with one of the most effortless, mechanically pristine swings I had ever witnessed in person, projecting that white pimply-ball directly down the middle of that fairway, well-beyond several of the distance-markers, where it bounced a few times before coming to rest a bit short of the giant white numbers that read "200". He coughed, walked towards me, handed me the club, sat down, and lit another cigarette. "There's nothing wrong with that club."

Production 212: She Who Laughs Last...

by Dave Foxx

As I tend to do after the beginning of a new year, I try to evaluate where I am personally with this business and figure out how I can improve. Well, that process is still going on for 2011, but I got a feeling this week that I need to bring up a few salient points here, just to keep everyone on the straight and narrow. As part of this process, I had a long conversation with my Program Director about who our target audience is and how best to image Z100 to appeal to that audience. It was one of those conversations that came out of something entirely unrelated, so it obviously was something we were both thinking about. It also occurred to me that I don't think I've ever really talked about my 'secret' ingredient to Z100's imaging that makes it all hang together. Are you ready?

Q It Up: How do you handle late copy?

Q It Up: How do you handle late copy? Does late-to-production copy reduce the quality of the commercial you turn out, or do you have contingency plans in place? Do the spots get bumped from the log to give you time to turn out a decent spot, or do you stay late and round up voice talent however you can to get the spot cranked out? How much of a problem is late copy for you, and how do you try and reduce the frequency of late copy to your department?

Test Drive: Nectar Vocal Processor from iZotope

by Steve Cunningham

It would appear that Santa was good to us this past season, and I for one didn't even notice it until well after the fact. It would seem that beginning late last November, while we weren't looking, iZotope evidently became the Official Audio Plug-In Supplier to Santa Claus. Through this exclusive relationship with the Old Guy in the Red Suit, we were presented with a hot new music-recording oriented plug-in, one which seem on the surface to have application to the radio production community. I'm speaking of iZotope's new Nectar vocal plug-in.

Radio Hed: Advertising Wisdom from a Mad Man

by Jeffrey Hedquist

I can't say I'm an expert on Bill Bernbach. I liked his ads. I never worked for him. He wasn't known for his radio, but he was known as an incredible advertising person and rightly so. Avis Rent a Car: "When you're No. 2, you try harder," Life Cereal: "Mikey," Levy's Rye Bread: "You Don't Have to be Jewish to Love Levy's," VW: "Think Small." Bernbach was one of the founders of Doyle Dane Bernbach (now part of Omnicom Group), the first ad agency to introduce the creative form approach, which paired a copywriter with an art director. He and his firm are mentioned often in "Mad Men" as a rival to Sterling Cooper, Don Draper's agency. What can we learn from the mighty Bill?

...And Make It Real Creative

by Trent Rentsch

Looking back is a nasty habit that I find hard to break. Not that there's anything wrong with memories, but there is a problem with the filters I wear. For example, that summer day between 3rd and 4th grade, racing Kristine from across the street... what kind of bonehead trips, falls and breaks their arm on the edge of a driveway? And then feels sorry for himself and sits in the house all summer, ballooning to "husky" by fall? Yeah, that was the start of the weight problem, but do I ever choose to do anything about it? Nope... even when I become the joke of Middle School and much of High School. Good Lord, no wonder I didn't have a girlfriend until my senior year... who would go out with the fat, geeky joke of the school... and, you see the problem with my perception of the past.

The Monday Morning Memo: What Do Your Customers Care About? Peg the Needle on the Relevance Meter If You Want to See Results

by Roy H. Williams

Ads are often written under the assumption that we can get people to care about things they don't really care about. But this approach rarely succeeds. Traditional ad-think says: Target the right people Leverage the right media (visual media for visual products, etc.) Use creativity in delivering your message. But nontraditional ad-think gets far better results:

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