by John Dodge

For last month's Steal this Script! we did a Mom's Day comedy spot that got lots of response. Some of you stayed with the brunch angle, others reworked it for a gift certificate, a beauty treatment, whatever. The point is, you used it and it worked. The format is a flexible creative springboard for you as a producer...and a quick buck for sales. Just make sure you take all the credit for this money-making idea. And keep up the good work!

This month, let's take care of Dad. Here's a good ad for a men's store, a department store, any retail account that carries Father's Day merchandise. I've provided :20 of generic insert space for you to modify according to your market. I admit this commercial gets a little gooey, a bit Wonder Years, but going for the emotional jugular is one of the things radio does best. So just do it, solo piano and all. Let these different character parts overlay one another so the "memories" seem to roll and tumble out. And be sure to save everything you do -- definitely keep the announcer part separate -- that way, if Prospect A doesn't bite, Prospect B might, and it won't take all night for quick rewrite. Ready for the red light?

I Remember Dad

Grown Son #1: When I was a kid, my Dad used to be such a geek. But now that I'm a grownup, I realize Dad's a really smart guy. (quick pause) What happened to him?
Teen Daughter: My Dad was like the Man from Impossible or Doctor No. I'd be like "Dad, can I have the keys to the...." He'd go, "No." Or I'd go, "Dad, Jimmy has Eric Clapton tickets...." He's like "Impossible!"
Grown Son #2: Sometimes we didn't see him for days at a time....he'd leave early, come home late...he worked his butt off for us. (pause) I never forgot that.
Grown Daughter: I remember my Dad...he was in the Navy...I still have a picture of him in my head, coming off the ship in his uniform...(lump in throat goes here). He was the most handsome man I ever knew.
Announcer(:20): Sunday, June 21st, remember Dad with a special gift from Client's, the Father's Day Store. Client's has a super selection of Dad-pleasing items like wallets, ties, belts, shirts, argyle socks, after shave, 15-in-One Pocket Tools and more -- all on sale at 20 to 25% off. Client's knows Dad is the greatest. This Father's Day, make sure he knows you still think so, too.
Grown Son #3: There's no way I can pay him back for everything he gave me. All I can do the same thing for my kids.

I got deep into "Dad" and really enjoyed writing this one. You're drawn in by these characters because they're real people--they're honest and emotionally believable. By the time the announcer steps forward to make his pitch, you're open enough to receive it. That's the theory at least, and I buy it: relate-ability, not talking heads and tired cliches. Good luck and let me know how it goes. And Happy Father's Day.


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