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YES-YOU-CAN Sell Rush Limbaugh

| May 1, 2015

By Holland Cooke
Holland Cooke Media
Talk Radio Consultant

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI — Since his Sandra Fluke faux pas, a relentless boycott effort has scared-off big national advertisers.  Yet — and I speak from experience at client stations — this show sure can be a local money-maker.

    • This guy moves product.  Evidence: additional national inventory, since the boycott, to make-up for departed blue-chip accounts (those live spots Rush sneaks-in after the stopset). They’re there because they get results.  Many are Direct Response deals, no guesswork there.  And non-traditional B-to-B radio advertisers like Mahindra Tractors are selling high ticket stuff to the like-minded out thar’ on The Fruited Plain.

  • Low-hanging fruit: Prospect local retailers who drink Limbaugh’s Kool-Aid, something I see smart reps doing. The Client Needs Assessment process should ascertain ALL the client’s needs.  ;)
  • Yes, it’s a guy thing, with Limbaugh’s shock jock shtick serving-up some blooper that’ll offend women pretty much daily. So prospect guy-stuff categories.  Who retails golf and gadgets and all the other apolitical things Rush talks about?  Same repertoire as what Cigar Dave talks about on the weekend.  Got both shows?  Bundle ‘em.
  • Familiar HC lore: “Everything we do is story-telling,” and many pitches go in-one-ear-and-out-the-other. Being one of radio’s great story-tellers, Rush offers an environment for retailers’ stories.  Picture Eddie, the affable owner, working the room at Luigi’s Ristorante.  Interview him.  The spot describes how Eddie makes The Perfect Meatball.  By the time he’s done talking about his grandmother’s kitchen, you’re salivating.
  • Consider two-minute local spots in The Rush Limbaugh Show…IF the spots tell stories. If it’s a two-minute pitch it won’t work.  Having more time lets copy breathe.  Example: Eddie’s stories…the meatballs; and how painstakingly he procures only-the-best/only-the-freshest ingredients.  Seafood-restauranteurs-talking-about-fish, same deal.
  • Another example: Used cars. Since most Limbaugh TSL is in-car, a loquacious dealer could move metal by lovingly describing cream puffs on the lot, and asking “HOW MUCH MORE MONEY ARE YOU GOING TO PUT INTO THAT CAR YOU’RE DRIVING NOW?”  Offer a “DITTOHEAD DEAL-OF-THE-DAY, UNLESS SOMEONE ELSE DRIVES-IT-AWAY!”  Go-for-the-close with an unthreatening sign-and-drive punchline.  Retailers exposed for 2 minutes on this show WILL hear about their ads.  So much for “radio doesn’t work,” eh?


Holland Cooke ( is a media consultant, working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet.  Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke, and meet him at Talkers New York on Friday, June 12. 


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Category: Advice, Sales