by John Dodge
Hi Gang -- time for another creative commercial concept you can copy and cash in on. Thanks to everyone who called with congratulations on my PD-ship at WCRB, Classical Radio Boston. One guy called to say, "Love your column; read it every month." I said, "Great...do you produce the ads and then take the glory when their sold?" He said no, he just reads them. Hmm. Where did I go wrong? We're at the tail end of a three year recession, and if producers and their stations aren't making bucksarama from this column, then I should write for a different magazine -- maybe Arizona Highways. That's the Grand Canyon over on your right. Wicked big hole in the ground, eh?
November's Steal This Script! category is Automotive. We visited Auto last summer, but it's radio's biggest retail account, so you can always use another good one. You'll need three voices: Stan, a mild-mannered man; Wink Barker, game show host (those of you who know Sesame Street, this is Guy Smiley. If you want to call him Guy Smiley, it's okay with me); and Mr/Ms Announcer.
sfx: external telephone ring/pickup
Wink: (phone EQ on way pukey game show host with game show music background) Stanley Peebles of Marblehead, Mass?
Stan: (tentatively) Yes?
Wink: (with unbeleeevable enthusiasm) This is Wink Barker from TV's "Bucksarama" calling to say you've just won ten million dollars!!!
Stan: (blandly) That's nice, but I can't talk now. I'm on my way to Client's in Yourtown. (Wink repeatedly interrupts with a quick "but" while Stan rolls on.) They've got a fabulous selection of the sharp, new '93 Carbrands... (but)...Client's has no-pressure sales people who help you when you want to be helped...(but)...and they have an award-winning service department, so I spend less time in the shop and more time on the road.
Wink: Mr. Peebles, you don't seem to understand. You're a millionaire!!!
Stan: (mildly) That's nice.
Announcer: You don't have to be rich to appreciate the quality, the roominess, and the redesign of the all new 1993 Carbrand from Client's. Test drive a Client's Carbrand today...and feel like a million!
Stan: So I'm rich, huh?
Wink: That's right, Stan!
Stan: And I can afford any car I want?
Stan: I'm getting a new Carbrand from Client's! Have a nice day. (sfx: Hang up)
Wink: (game show music kicks in again) Stanley Peebles, ladies and gentlemen, a guy who really knows the value of a dollar....(fade under)
Announcer: People who can buy any car they choose still choose Client's Carbrand, Mainstreet in Yourtown.
After you read this, get with the Local Sales Manager. Ask him or her if there's a car dealer they want on the air but haven't been able to sign. Target that account, revise the announcer section, produce it and go!
I'd like to hear more feedback from you on these specs. Are we hitting the right account groups? Is the writing on target? Is it "retail" enough? Is the column accomplishing its mission: making money for your station? Let me know what you need, "cause I'm a practical guy," and if these scripts are just sitting there taking up space in Radio And Production, I'll do that travel thing I talked about pronto. That's Old Faithful over there on your left. Wicked big steam leak, eh?