By Jeffrey Hedquist

They can be a caricature of the advertiser him/herself—especially if they’re already well known. 

Create a confused or obtuse character that needs everything explained by a knowledgeable advertiser representative. 

Use a category character as spokesperson or interviewee: The World’s Most Experienced Traveler, Mrs. Fuss-budget, Mr. Nervous, your Guardian Angel, The Extreme Dude for a sports store, Mr. Sandman for a bedding store, Mr. Know It All for a bookstore, an argumentative family for a video store. 

I have a personal bias against anthropomorphic characters—talking trees, toothbrushes, cars etc..  I’m sure someone has made them work, but it’s rare.  Also, characters with too much borrowed interest like Beavis & Butthead, Arnold Schwartzenegger, Jim Carey, etc. will soon become dated, are often over-used, and draw attention to themselves rather than to the advertiser. 

Successful radio campaigns featuring characters abound: the funny characters for Nynex Yellow Pages, Tom Bodett for Motel 6, Charlton Heston and his Gen-X partners for Bud Light.

When you develop a character with an interesting story line, the audience will actually look forward to hearing each new episode. Anytime you can have that kind of compelling entertainment value in a commercial you’ve gone a long way towards getting the audience’s attention and interest and of course, results for your advertiser.  


January 01, 1995 17331
by Jerry Vigil It's been a while since we've put an effects box to the test, and it looks like technology in this area has improved greatly over the past couple of years. It wasn't long ago that the ability to perform multiple...