By Holland Cooke
BLOCK ISLAND, RI — The news/talk stations I work with make big money doing what talk radio does best: cutting through mental clutter, with live endorsement spots delivered by familiar local on-air personalities.
And as you read in my Monday Memo three weeks ago, this technique can help sell podcast sponsorships. ICYMI: https://www.talkers.com/2019/01/07/monday-memo-podcast-ads-work/
OOPS. Do your endorsement spots say “I haven’t sold you yet?”
Often, these are long-standing advertiser relationships. Two cautions:
- If you’ve been touting an advertiser for years, DON’T say so. “For years, I’ve been telling you about [name of business]” = “…and I haven’t sold you yet, have I?” Instead…
- Keep the pitch fresh, and CUSTOMER-centric; rather than talking about a store. In one spot I heard, for a sewing supply retailer, the well-intentioned host sounded awestruck as he recited the store’s inventory (“over fifteen hundred bolts of fabric!”). That’s the store’s problem. Instead, solve the listener’s problem: “Imagine the money you could save if you made all your kids’ back-to-school clothes this year? [advertiser] will give you free lessons!”
- “MY GOOD FRIENDS AT [name of business],” which sounds real phony.
- “All-new:”Say “new,” if it IS new, AND if newness is a listener benefit (and say why).
- “…AND MUCH MORE” means nothing. Weed-out stuff like this, and you’ll give copy more time to breathe.
- “Needs,” as in: “FOR ALL YOUR [product category] NEEDS” (the ultimate “BLAH, BLAH, BLAH”). Instead? Either:
- Say something more-specific, a benefit statement. Or…say nothing!
- Too many spots are over-written, causing the announcer to rush. Let copy breathe.
Holland Cooke (hollandcooke.com) is a media consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet; and he hosts “The Big Picture” TV show on RT America. Read HC’s Monday Memo each week at Talkers.com, and follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke