A great idea can be diminished by using it in tandem with other ideas. I’ve seen this hamper a lot of great commercials. Sometimes it’s due to poor profiling by an account manager, and sometimes it’s poor writing. Often, it’s because the client would like more added to the script. Let’s return to my first comment.

A great idea can be diminished by using it in tandem other good ideas.

I want to make sure I’m clear on my meaning here. I’m always talking about how the best commercials lead with one “interesting message.” Often, it’s difficult for a business to find their message. Sometimes, they have a few of them. It’s great to have many reasons why your business is special. But, that doesn’t mean you should tackle them in the same commercial. Your radio commercials need to be concise. The more information you add, the harder it is to grab hold of a single piece of information. That’s where I see problems arise. There are a lot of commercials on the air with a really interesting nugget of information, that’s overrun by words. Too many words and too much information.

Here’s an example. Let’s imagine we’re making a commercial for a furnace company. I’m going to start with an uninspiring script. This is what you’d hear more often than not on the radio.

Jeff’s Heating and Air Conditioning has been serving Toronto for over 50 years. They’re proud to offer you great service at an affordable price. Jeff’s heating offers only the best name brands in the business, like Trane, Lennox, and Bryant. Whether you need emergency repairs, or a brand new furnace or air conditioning unit, Jeff’s Heating & Air Conditioning is the place to call. And, it’s the same great price for an appointment day or night. Call Jeff’s Heating & Air Conditioning at 1-800-GET-JEFF. Or find us online at 

That script is very average. It includes a lot of common information, as well as one very intriguing piece of information. The great piece of information is clouded by the mundane information. This commercial would be much more powerful if it was concise. It needs to use the power of the one interesting offer to be successful. Let’s shine a spotlight on that offer.

It’s -30 degrees. The wind rattles your home like sheet metal. You wake up. The clock says 3am. Your breath hangs in the air like a frozen ghost. Your furnace is broken.

Jeff’s Heating and Air Conditioning does not charge over time rates. That means that when you call Jeff with an emergency at 3am, it costs the same as a mid-day appointment booked a week in advance.

Day or night. Routine or emergency.  Jeff’s Heating and Air Conditioning always costs $59 per visit.

It’s a lot tougher to lose the offer in the shuffle now. This script does a couple of things better than the first one. Of course, it sticks to the one idea and hammers it home. It also gives a clear mental picture of a worrisome situation. Supplying the listener with a real reason to use your service is the main goal of advertising. This commercial establishes a very important “When” (when you’re in need of emergency HVAC.) It also establishes an important “why” (because they charge the same price no matter when you need them.) You won’t get a lot of phone calls from this commercial immediately. It’s a brand statement commercial. That means you’ll need to use this message perpetually. If you do that, you’ll be firmly placed at the top of your listener’s mental checklist when the need arises for your services.

Always make sure to chase only one rabbit. You’ll be more likely to catch it. Thirty seconds is not enough time to explain everything about your business. But, it is enough to time to intrigue someone with the most enticing part of your business. You don’t need to sell every product. Lead with the one that will get the most attention. The rest will fall into place on its own. Keep things concise. I’ll stop now, because I think I made my point. :)