Wednesday, 28 October 2015

6 goodies for writing a radio advert

Welcome to a late Wednesday post!

I was recently interviewed on my local radio station, only the second time I’ve experienced anything similar.

The first occasion was a ‘live’ telephone interview for a ‘hospital broadcasting studio’ in the greater London area which I found particularly nerve wracking because my hearing isn’t great and I fretted that I’d not hear what the broadcaster was asking me. It wasn’t the best of phone connections but I muddled my way through the nerves and didn’t think it was too bad- though could have been better.

My interview last week was a very different experience. I was asked to arrive around ten/ fifteen minutes before the programme was scheduled to start, at which point I’d be introduced to the DJ who would ‘prep’ me for the programme.

Arriving bang on the dot of 15 minutes to 10 a.m. Colin—the NECR Scotland DJ —was there to greet me and put me at ease, though I wasn’t nervous at all. He was lovely and asked me some early questions, some that weren’t on the bio and other info about me sheet that I’d emailed in to the station. Down in the studio, I still wasn’t particularly nervous –even though I had to wait through some 20 minutes of general programming introduction for the Morning Show and a few music slots.

The interview, I’m told, went well and I seemed coherent enough. Afterwards, I talked about the possibility of running an advert for a few days. It’s not yet a done deal, but I’ve been investigating what would make a really good local radio advert to encourage local sales of my novels.

After viewing some advice on Youtube videos, and reading some articles, a summary of what seems to be best for me would be some form of the following for a typical 60 second advert.   (official ‘writing a radio commercial’ terminology is included)

  1. The opening attention grabber…Catch the listening audience attention by asking a relevant question or by creating a need. Answer this by naming the product within the first few seconds.
  1. The distinctiveness of the offer…Give the listeners an enticement like something unique about the offer.
  1. Express the message articulately and elicit an emotive response from the listener...Aim for direct engagement by offering a chance to explore the product and give them the benefits of buying the product.
  1. Call to action…Tell them where they can access/buy the product. Focus on generating sales by highlighting the telephone number, or email, or website. Make this the main thrust of the advert.
  1. Provide further information on the seller and products available...Mention anything relevant which makes the offer distinctly different, though plausible.
  1. Repeat the call to action…Repeat the ‘how to buy’ details

Other important details to think about in no particular order.
Ø      The advert should be announced clearly and articulately, ensuring that the listeners can ingest the information easily with little effort in listening. The reading needs to include/ be enhanced by non verbal communication ie enthusiasm of the voice-over person. Use strong positive language to enhance the product. Not to much info as it can overload the listener.

Ø      Use sound elements carefully and only if it enhances the product and doesn’t detract from the listening process.

Ø      Emphasise the local elements sensitively to avoid the ‘me-me’ isms.

Ø      Be sure that you can provide what you say in the add i.e. authenticity.

Ø      Choose a suitable style- Simple announcement; dialogue; testimonial; ask a person on the street/reviewer; life scenario with product given as the solution; story.

Ø      Only use humour carefully if guaranteed to work.

I’ve made a number of drafts and have settled on something that comes out at around the suggested 100 words which I can read within a 60 second slot. However, before I share what that is, I’ll run it past the radio station advertising department to see if what I’ve written will pass muster.


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