Radio Hed: Go Another Way With That Commercial

Radio-Hed-Logo-2By Jeffrey Hedquist

You get a creative brief, a production order; maybe you actually meet with the client. You collect the “who, what, where, how and why” – and your first reaction may be to take a normal direction, the obvious direction. It’s clear, it leaps out at you – “Of course,” you say to yourself.

Stop.

The audience is used to the normal, the expected, and they’re used to ignoring it. If your first reaction is to jump onto the 4-lane superhighway, think about taking that gravel road off to the right – the one that winds its way past the little village with the old brick house that’s now a pottery workshop. It’s a more scenic route, one that your audience might prefer to take… because it’s unexpected.

Your client sells office supplies? Let’s hear from the woman who’s convinced she can have a paperless office – until she tries it and realizes she needs hundreds of things the store sells.

For a landscape business with a huge guarantee, we created a guy dressed as an eggplant who wanted to be their spokesperson.

For a university offering adult education degrees, our commercial told the story of Mr. Pickle who had tired of decades of entertaining at kids’ parties and wanted a new career.

Lest you think that food costumes are the only way to go…

For a ski resort that was hours closer and a less expensive choice for the audience than its competition, we introduced someone who was so afraid of skiing he wanted to spend more time on the road and pay more in lift fees, just to avoid getting on the slopes.

For a car dealer with a more humane approach to selling vehicles than most, we let people who had just bought new cars from other dealers break into tirades of anger and frustration about their unpleasant purchasing experiences.

These commercials brought in results. Unexpectedly good results.

Before you take what seems to be the expected approach to your next commercial, stop and see if there’s another way lurking in the recesses of your mind. Go there.

That sound of laughter you hear? It’s your client on their way to the bank. I’ll see you out in left field.

© 1997-2014 Hedquist Productions, Inc.

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