Sync & Swimm

Marketing, Stocks, Sales, Radio & Rants

Archive for the tag “commercials”


superBrainIt’s been ten days since the Super Bowl. Ten days after millions spent in advertising at $5 million for a 30 second ad nationally and about $50k locally. Lots of REACH! In some cases, great CREATIVE (Tide, looking at you!… And who doesn’t want to go to Australia now?) But, what about the other ways to get brand equity? FREQUENCY and CONSISTENCY are nowhere to be found on that $5 million-dollar investment. Just like it takes a few times before a song gets stuck in your head and you’re singing along, a brand isn’t developed over 30 seconds.

Advertising is part science and part art. The science comes from the Reach, Frequency and consistency. The art is all the creative. Great creative can cover up ALOT of advertising sins, but in can’t create brand equity without consistency and frequency. Top of the mind brand awareness is built one ad at a time. Television, radio, digital, social, billboards, print, pens, t-shirts…. You get it.

Back to Super Bowl commercials. Surely at $5 million a pop everyone should get these easy questions correct. (Send me the answers…Honor system…Maybe a prize in it for you) See if your Super Brain recalls any of these…. Go now!

1.   What detergent is great at getting game stains out?

2.   Jason Bourne himself, Matt Damon, did an ad for a beer. What was the ad for?

3.   Steve Tyler starred in an ad. What was it for?

4.   Chis Pratt was in two separate ads? What were they?

5.   What ad featured a bunch babies?

There you go, over $30 million (just in ad time, not counting creative) was spent with just these five questions. Worth the money?

The Company That Will Bring It To You…..

captain-kirk-communicatorAs I type this my daughter is on Face Time with her friend on her IPOD Touch.  My ten year old has been using Face Time for about a week and a half. In that time she has become more proficient than Capt Kirk with his communicator. Who could have ever imagined us getting to the point where kids could communicate with their friends in HD quality on a device smaller than a deck of cards—-Wireless! When I was ten I had to share a party line with 5 other families at my grandmother’s house in Maine (I’ll save this for another story). My pointer finger is now about five sizes bigger than the rest of my hand from using the giant rotary dial phone…Tough times.

The funny thing is, growing up we were always told of flying cars and Dick Tracy video wristwatches. It just never seemed to happen, until it did..Slowly but surely most of the Sy-Fy predictions have caught up to us. (Well, except the flying car thing). I remember back in the early 90’s Tom Selleck used to talk about all the great things AT & T was going to do for us. Sending a fax from the beach, attending a meeting in your pajamas, borrowing a book from around the world. As Tom was pontificating about all the futuristic wonders AT& T was about to lay on us, I was still getting used to the AOL guy saying “You’ve got Mail.”   Apparently Steve Jobs watched those commercials too, and he became the guy who brought us a bunch of it. I’m sure AT & T is the infrastructure behind much of the technology, but Apple has a better marketing department

So I hopped on YouTube (the Irony of using Google to look up a commercial about A T & T technology was not lost on me) and went on a quest to find those commercials from the early 90’s. I found them, and they were even more accurate than I remembered..Scary precise. Check out the touch screen on the EBook. This was 1993 when people didn’t know what an EBook, or an Email even was..

So like a crystal ball peering into the future, I present to you a montage of those commercials telling us how great life would be for us very soon. Listening to my daughter giggle with her friends on her $100 IPOD makes me realize we haven’t seen anything yet….Kirk out!




Big Game Commercials–Fumble or #Touchdown?

As the Superbow—ooops, “the BIG game” inches closer, the Monday morning quarterbacks will talk of football, and….. commercials.  Will Volkswagen be able to top the young Darth Vader spot?  Maybe, but in the quest to be the most creative, some companies try so hard on the creative, they forget to sell.  The problem with Super bowl advertising is it only allows for two parts of the advertising puzzle–REACH and CREATIVITY.  Great advertising that sells needs all four keys–REACH, FREQUENCY, CONSISTENCY, and CREATIVE. 

Like a Dad who only sees his kids on the weekends, companies try to OVERCOMPENSATE with the Creative–Plenty or reach, plenty of creative.  Surely if you miss the other two elements, just make up for it with more creative, right?  Well, maybe.  If the creative actually sells product. 

Effective advertising does one thing; it motivates a consumer int0 action.   It should contain one or two key messages.  Not a list of things that the customer will forget in five minutes.


(1)-If you do not engage the consumer, nothing else really matters.

(2)-The only way to connect is to make the commercial about the customer.

(3)-Failure to immediately appeal to the listener/viewer’s self-interest will leave your ad unheard.

(4)-Pierce the heart.  Logic doesn’t sell, emotions sell.

(5)-Leave behind a mental image that can be shared and talked about at the water cooler.

You would think for 3.5 million dollars for 30 seconds of airtime, the commercial should sell a few units, right?  So enjoy the game, watch the commercials, and try to remember the companies who advertised the next day….If you can…TOUCHDOWN!


Deep Down Inside–You Like Commercials!

I write and sell radio commercials for a living, so maybe I listen a bit differently than you do.  I love powerful, well written commercials–I raise the volume when they come on!   Arbitron just conducted a major study about how long listeners stay through commercials.  Guess what? Radio keeps 93% of its lead in audience during an average break!  This was groundbreaking because the perception for years has been that a radio station loses more than 50% of its audience after the first spot. 

…”The new study, using data from 18 million commercial breaks, 62 million minutes of commercials and 866 stations for a year, showed, among other findings, that one- to three-minute commercial breaks deliver audience levels “practically the same as the lead-in audience”; Longer spot breaks of four to six minutes-plus delivered an average minute audience nearly 90 percent of the lead-in audience; Commercial breaks in morning drive deliver 97 percent of their lead-in audience; and among teens and persons 18-24, radio delivers nearly 90 percent of its lead-in audience during commercial breaks, while among people age 65+, radio delivers 98 percent of the lead-in audience during the stop sets….”

These numbers represent “average” commercials and stop sets.  When you factor in more creative commercials the lead in audience is even higher.  The real problem with radio commercials is radio.  As an industry we write crappy, clichéd, uninspired drivel, that you have a heard a thousand times.  If the average station can keep 93% of its audience with most of the junk I hear, can you imagine what we could do with some powerful, compelling creative?

Radio commercials need to paint  mental pictures…pierce the heart…create emotions…offer something compelling…

Nothing is quite as powerful as the spoken word…All commercials all the time!  (Hey, it worked for Christmas music)

Arbitron Commercial study

Writing a radio commercial part I

Don’t do vanilla.  Be bold.  Take a chance in order to cut through.

Remember: over-advertised-to-consumers respond to

Make it sound real..not like a sales pitch

60’s work FAR BETTER than 30’s

Don’t be an ‘also ran.’..Be original…take chances

Create a headline that gets attention and makes you want to hear more.

Use ‘power words’ in headline…(More on that in another post)

The opening sentence should speak directly to the listener

 Tell a story

Limit the product/offer/call-to-action to one thing if possible

Is a theme necessary?

Include clear call-to-action. Give a deadline.

Convey urgency

Be creative, but don’t let creativity obscure the message

Don’t use two-person dialogue unless you have actors…Dj’s rarely can act–It will sound hokey

Have the client record the spot if they are passionate

Give directions, contact info in a way that they can be remembered/acted upon by a person who is out jogging

Use websites, facebook, or twitter–listeners will not remember phone numbers

Anticipate all objections consumers might have

Offer a solution to a problem

Emotion sells

Find the listeners pain

State the problem or create the opportunity; explain how to solve it or bring it about; demonstrate how your product accomplishes it.

Keep sentences short

Cut through the clutter by being memorable

A commercial should sound like a note you left for your best friend–You wouldn’t say “They had all the name brands you know and love”

Don’t be cliché!  It sounds phoney…Your customers are smarter than that

Under promise–over deliver—(ok maybe that’s a bit cliché!)

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