Listening to Bad Ads

The eureka moment for me when I started out in this industry, was discovering how important it was for the listener to be the co-author of your ad. If you can get them to visualise a scene or imagine themselves using the product, the ad will leave a lasting impression.

So many voice-overs on TV and radio don’t seem to have a clue what they’re saying.

You can almost hear this guy’s finger. Being. Placed. Under. Each. Word. Emphasizing. Everything. Just. In. Case. It’s. Important. As a result, nothing stands out and the message is lost. Cast an actor next time and ditch the forgettable phone number.

The two places you’ll hear the worst acting on the planet are radio ads and pornos (apparently).

if the listener doesn’t believe who is telling them, they won’t believe what they’re saying.

EVERY ad says something about your brand whether you like it or not.

So why get him to read a shopping list? Celebrities never sound more awkward and more ‘bought’ than when they’re reading words they’d never say in a style that’s not their own.

Radio is a one-to-one, intimate and conversational medium and the ads should be sympathetic to the environment.

With increased competition for the listener’s ear (podcasts, streaming music etc), radio stations that play abrasive ads like this risk losing listeners for good.

But they throw so many messages at the listener, in such a confusing order (e.g. ‘supporting breast cancer – a real circus”) you’re left with a Fantastic mess.

What I’m about to ask may seem a little radical, yet it’s something 18m Australian non-media-types do each week.

But with just a little more investment, expertise and understanding of how listeners listen, each advertiser in this break could have also generated a long-term brand response, without spending a cent more on media.

There are so many shiny new audio platforms available, yet the number of listeners tuning into radio has not only held but is increasing in some demographics. They are listening for shorter periods though, so rather than relying on repetition, it’s never been more important for your ad to pack a creative punch and be memorable after one listen.

Radio works, but only as well as your creative allows it to.

Zero to six separate messages in 10 seconds. If you have more than one message, make more than one ad.

However, this bland shopping list with a cliché voice will do neither.

Finally, an ad that takes its time, intrigues and communicates one single-minded message. The writer understands radio and that’s why this ad stands out in the break.

 “Ever started an ad with a complicated question?” Well don’t, because nobody cares enough about your product to answer it.

An intriguing intro will at least draw them in.

Car dealers have to work hard to differentiate themselves. Find something unique and hang your brand’s hat on it.

In this case, they could play on the fact that an Italian sounding dealership is selling French cars. Maybe the Godfather is in town next week, so they need to get rid of the French stock quick.

And now, back to the music.