Suicide by Commercial

| July 26, 2017
Al Herskovitz
H&H Communications
President
BRADENTON, Fla. — If I were an advertiser using commercials on some talk shows, I’d ask for my money back.  There seems to a be a rash of spots currently on the air that are over-jammed with information containing unneeded details and presented at break-neck speed.  There even are some where the show host opens each commercial by re-identifying him/herself within the body of his/her own program each time even when three “live” commercials are aired back-to-back. That’s an ok technique if the spots are recorded and run separately elsewhere during the day where it is an implied endorsement. But within his/her own show?

Then there is the matter of telephone numbers. If you are driving on the highway at 60-plus miles an hour, it may be just a bit of a challenge to scramble for paper and pen to write down a number or even remember it when you get home.  There are those who have recognized this dilemma and have come up with four and even sometimes seven-letter-plus words that identify the sponsor’s number.  To give credit where credit is due, here’s a salute to a window blinds company  whose number I recently heard  presented as 855-budgetblinds.  This is memory-manageable.  But remembering just nine individual digits is a mental feat especially when three different spots are run back-to-back in a cluster, all of them with phone numbers. Fortunately today’s technology has somewhat resolved this with email addresses. They’re a lot easier to keep in mind.  But incomprehensible phone numbers repeated several times still remain and eat up valuable sell time.
Commercials for retail establishments seem to be the guiltiest. Clichéd phrases such as “plenty of free parking”  and “open Thursday nights till nine”  and “from the comfort of your own home” take away time for important selling.  Believe me, if what is being offered is of sufficient interest and appeal, finding a parking space is not going to be a major deterent.
Jamming too much into 60 seconds makes the listener’s head spin. I hear one regularly for a sporting goods retailer that is pitching, identifying and describing fishing equipment…rods, reels, baskets, nets, hooks, lines, bait, knives, tackle, lures, life jackets, etc. All of this is followed by the street address, the phone number repeated and the email contact number.  The program host sounds as if he is out-of-breath by the time he reaches the end.  The schedule appears to be big enough to allow them to run at least two, maybe three, different spots describing just a portion of the inventory in each one and alternating them.
Sooner, rather than later, this sporting goods outfit is going to call and report that they are not getting any response.  As everyone knows, commercials are the life-blood of the industry.  So why drain it and commit business suicide.
Al Herskovitz is president of H&H Communications and a TALKERS marketing consultant.  He can be emailed at: h-and-h@verizon.net.

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Category: Sales