Advertising doesn’t have to be hard. Honestly, the greatest ads are simple in nature. If you can draw back your entire campaign to one simple salient point, you probably have the beginnings of an excellent brand. Too bad we’ve all been trained to think that bigger is better. Personally, I think that the best method of advertisement is the method that isn’t in practice. If most radio commercials were simple in nature, I would side with a more elaborate campaign. If most commercials are voiced by men, I’d consider a female host. The list can get deeper and deeper. It’s always a good decision to be different. You don’t want your advertisement to get lost in the beige malaise of predictable stereotypes that most ads frequent. Be creative. Be different. But still, try to be simple.
Who needs a music bed? I often suggest that the best commercial out there is a great script, read by a talented announcer with absolutely no background music. On top of that, it’s helpful to let the script breath. Allow extra space in your commercials, especially if it’s cold voice. Silence on the radio makes people perk their ears up. It’s so far off from the norm that it stands out. Don’t get me wrong, you still need an excellent script. Speaking one on one with the listener with none of the regular pretences of the advertising world is powerful stuff.
So, why don’t people do it that often? Good question. I think of it like an all you can eat buffet. When a manager buys a commercial, he wants to get the most value out of it. Unfortunately, our brains often tell us the most value is achieved by getting the most message, and not the best message. If it takes a lot of work to make it, it’s good right? Not quite. More of something isn’t always good for you. It’s like eating 5 plates of bacon at the buffet. Sure, you got more value, but your heart is probably going to explode. You should always plan on getting the most value out of your advertisement. But, value is not measured by how busy your commercial is. It’s measured by how well the message works. Your message is best when it’s simple and succinct. Next time you go to the buffet, the best thing for your body might be to eat a little less, and consume more useful foods. In short, your commercial doesn’t need to have lasers, explosions, and yelling announcer to be effective. It needs to stand out from all the other commercials that are already doing that. Go against the flow and opt for a simple campaign with an excellent message.
One good way to measure the effectiveness of your creative is to ask your production company to supply your commercial in a stop set to hear how it sounds in the mix against random commercials. Ideally you want yours to stand out above the rest of the crowd. Your ad is going to play in a five minute break. That’s 9 other messages competing for your prospective clients. Only the best messages are going to be heard. That commercial break is the equivalent of the stock floor. Its a dozen people trying to yell their message over top of each other. They think the loudest message will win the day. I want you to have the message that cuts through. When everyone else is yelling, whisper in your clients ear instead.