Radio Hed: Bait Your Commercial’s Hook to Engage the Listener

Radio-Hed-Logo-2By Jeffrey Hedquist

If the characters, voices and situations in your commercial are ones your intended audience can identify with, root for or relate to, then that audience will bite.

Those elements need to be distinct, real. Remember, an emotional story will be much more memorable than one that isn’t.

Example: create a backstory for each voice so that you don’t portray just a generic Mom, but maybe a Mom who was a wild party girl in her youth and lets that side of her personality slip out once in a while, shocking her family.

You don’t have much time to establish personality traits, so do it with clarity, drama, and show, don’t tell.

Knowing your audience, you also know what will touch them emotionally. Make a list of the possible emotional traits, problems, proclivities you can exploit. This will give you what you need to build a campaign.

As you portray a specific common problem they share, keep in mind the basic underlying emotional connection: love, acceptance, self-actualization, etc. Make sure you are clear.

This allows you to tap a wellspring of stored emotions, memories and experiences of your target audience. Now you’re coat tailing on something larger.  Without an emotional connection, listeners will forget the commercial and the message.

What is the single point you’re trying to make? Can you position that point so that it’s surprising, unexpected? When you do you’ve broken a pattern, sending a signal to the listener that they need to pay attention.

• The innocent child who is wise beyond her years

• The hard-driving company owner who gives up a profitable venture because it’s the right thing to do

• The formerly expensive service that is now free

• The angry spouse who beneath the bluster is really concerned for your well-being

• The vivid description of a seemingly unrelated metaphor for the benefit the advertiser offers

Sneak up on them, surprise them, get them to participate emotionally and you won’t have to work so hard being loud or trying to overwhelm them with information.

© 1997 - 2014 Hedquist Productions, Inc.

 

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