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It’s summer. Time to roll down the windows, turn up the radio and listen to local car dealership commercials. Hold on, you’re not into radio advertising? I guess we don’t blame you. Let’s face it, Chevy Salebration Days isn’t going to be this summer’s Get Lucky or Blurred Lines. Why are radio commercials so boring, bad and/or downright annoying? Is it because marketing directors (and their boss) care more about splashier mediums like TV and print? Is it because agencies don’t think radio advertising is important as well? Is a left-wing plot to make more people turn into commercial-free NPR? We’re not sure.

60 seconds of freedom.

But we do know one thing—good radio advertising really stands out. And it’s never been more important to cut through the clutter. More people are streaming Pandora, tuning to satellite radio and listening to podcasts and playlists. Radio shouldn’t be the redheaded stepchild of advertising. Embrace it. The same rules apply—a simple, unique, memorable message executed nicely.

If you’re a copywriter, radio should be your first love. Caress it softly. Hold it tight and never let it go. Odds are, the client will let you fly under the radar on this one. This is writing in its purest form. There are no art directors to answer to. There are no budgets to hold you back. Your radio spot can take place underwater, outer space or in a 1970s discotheque. A polka festival with dancing gorillas? Easily done. Radio is theater of the mind. All it takes is some good sound design and you can take the listener anywhere.

Your spot is competing with Bruno Mars, Katy Perry and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Make sure it entertains and drives home one main point, or people won’t pay attention. A Barry White love song about your spleen might do it. Maybe a job description that involves speaking Klingon. Consider a conversation with a clueless banker. Or maybe a trip to Scrod Creek, Occipital Ridge and Hindview Bend is in order. Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to get a little weird. It just might work.

  • Aaron Cheesman

    Amen.



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