Radio Hed: Holiday Memories Make Great Commercials

By Jeffrey Hedquist

Some of the most powerful/rich memories we have are from our childhood – centered on the Holidays – Christmas, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Dipavali, Ramadan, or any of the dozens of other celebrations at this time of year.

Remember, the power of emotion is your greatest ally in helping your clients break through the wall of mediocrity because people make buying decisions emotionally.

Think back to your childhood. What Holiday stories come to mind? Ask your client to think back. Interview your client’s staff and customers. We all have stories.

There are sights, sounds, tastes, touches, and smells that bring us back to earlier times. The aroma of cardamom puts me right in my grandmother’s kitchen, helping her make Swedish coffee bread. My sister inherited her original breadboard and every Christmas, she gifts me with a sweet memory.

Make the story about your audience members. Trigger their memories. Tell how your client helps create memories that last. Talk to parents about creating bonding memories for kids. How the client helps make better lives for others.

Holiday memories can be embarrassing, fun-filled, awkward, wondrous, cute, sad, nostalgic, happy, or poignant.

Often they’re happy times – times of comfort, love, safety, caring, and togetherness: gathering with family, receiving gifts, giving gifts, caroling, helping others – food drives, blood drives, or volunteering.

But for some, the predominant feeling of the holidays is the opposite – being alone, or left out when everyone else is celebrating; being stranded in travel, or lost, or working (Like you, I’ve had many Thanksgiving dinners, munching between the records in radio control rooms) or away from loved ones, in a combat zone. Stories of all kinds can be used.

Does your client sell gifts? Maybe there are stories of presents you loved as a child, or the joy of seeing someone’s face light up because of your gift to them, or of fulfilling a “secret” wish for someone.

Does your client sell experiences? Stories about sharing, enriching someone’s life, improving their skills, making life easier for the recipient throughout the coming year are sometimes the most compelling.

You can use this technique for all the holidays during the year. A friend of mine got people to sing him the songs their moms would sing to them as kids. He recorded lots of unrehearsed emotion. It was a powerful way to celebrate Mother’s Day.

 May your Holidays be filled with warm memories, cold eggnog and plenty of hugs. Email jeffrey@hedquist.com with emotional comments.

© 1997-2016 Hedquist Productions, Inc.  All rights reserved.

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