Toward Superior Copy, and Outrageous Results

Is it possible to charge your advertising clients more and still save them money? Absolutely! In a few steps you can raise your rates and provide more leads per client dollar. It starts with

Personnel – you've got to have the team to get results. Some people are better face-to-face sellers, some are better on-air entertainers, and some are better staring out the window concocting a listenable, compelling, emotionally driven story of an ad that gets results for each client.

You should not give the client what they want, you should give them what they need.

They need a focused commercial that will deliver results. They do not need an ego trip stuffed with sale items, their phone number and address, or pretend discounts. They need a relatable commercial focused on a single thought/item. And separate commercials for each additional thought or item.

I abhor clichés, especially in radio copy. They are lazy. "For all your toe shoe needs," "sale ends soon," "the tent is up, the prices are down." Ick. I know I'm not alone, 'cause audiences mentally tune out at these trite idiocies. Where's the inspiration? Where's the motivation? Why are we wasting our time writing, producing and listening to these?

Why pay someone else to create your advertising? The most obvious reason is you have your business to run. The most important reason, though, is you are not your customer. Whoa, a powerful truth: You Are Not Your Customer.

I have an addiction. That's the first step toward healing, right, admit you have an addiction? I have an addiction. It was made plain a couple days ago when my router died. I am addicted to the Internet and my email. At home my wife checks her email a couple times a week. I have to check my email a couple times an hour. My daughter, she's addicted to instant messaging. Not me. If it can't wait for an email, I'll pick up the phone and call. That's what the phone is there for, like sales making an intercom down the hall to production.

Ever pay sticker price for a car? Of course not. Over time the auto dealers have taught us to wait for a “tent sale”, a “President’s Day sale”, a “Bottom Line Blowout sale”. Just like the big chain department stores are doing – Macy’s big sale Saturday with pre-view day Friday. Kohl’s one day Saturday sale. They are teaching us to wait ‘til Saturday where they cut their margin and their ability to stay in business (remember Montgomery Ward?).

I have never been a fan of ‘testing’ radio. “Tell ‘em Jack sent ya” just doesn’t provide a listener with incentive to visit the business and announce “Jack sent me”, and leads to “I tried radio and it didn’t work.”

"Frameline Magnetism". That's what Norman Rockwell called it. Some call it closure. It is the human ability to fill in the blanks of a picture. We paint pictures with words, so leave a few blanks and the listener will fill them in, and in so doing will make the image you paint with words and sound their own unique vision. And this personal vision can help keep your product/service/station top-of-mind.

"No Budget" is an excuse. Humans don't like hurting other peoples feelings. Would it be easier if they came out and said "I don't think you can help me"? Sure. But you can get past the "No Budget" objection.
First: remember a budget is only a guideline of expected expenses versus expected revenues, as assigned to specific item categories (electric, salary, advertising, postage, insurance etc). While it is a document written with sweat and toil, it is not a document written in blood. A budget is living, breathing, and most important: flexible. So…

Recently an Account Executive had provided copy to a client with the attitude that the commercial wasn’t all that compelling a script. I concede I was probably a bit less than cordial when I asked this AE not to do that anymore, but that’s not the problem I refer to. I’m sometimes too blunt with the facts, but I won’t shy away from the truth.