20 Tips and Hints for Advertisers
1. The biggest challenge is incorporating a creative and entertaining idea into a 30sec spot. Ask yourself “What is the message we need to communicate and what would be the most unexpected way to communicate that message?”
2. The casting of the actors is critical – they truly can make or break an ad.
3. Radio doesn’t give one the luxury of hiding behind beautiful art direction or fancy computer graphics. Either your idea works or it doesn’t as only one sense is being engaged - hearing.
4. You really do have the opportunity to engage and stimulate the consumer’s imagination in a way that you cannot with any other medium.
5. Identify the production house that you feel is best for a particular script and invest adequate time into voice selection and crafting.
6. A good sense of humour, a simple message as well as an in-depth understanding of the target audience to whom the ad will be aimed at are key ingredients for an effective radio spot.
7. As great print visually stimulates the reader, great radio should captivate the listener by painting pictures in their minds with the words or sounds used.
8. Always ensure dialogue is short and punchy.
9. Always think of interesting ways of breaking the usual structure of a radio ad.
10. Always look at your available budget and ways in which you can make the most of it.
11. Ensure you know, work with, and write the script around the mandatory requirements from the client, from the beginning. These include any URLs, payoff lines and product details.
12. Although radio works with the theatre of the mind, you don’t want to leave too much work to the listener’s imagination. It’s important not to rely on sound effects too much to tell the story, as these are merely aids in depicting the situation / setting.
13. Offer the listener an opportunity to interact. The most memorable commercials are those that induce a particular mood or even elicit fantasy.
14. Quality is one language everyone understands. If you omit of from your radio ad – whether English or vernacular, you’ll miss an opportunity to create memorable communication.
15. Be careful of direct translations. Make sure your translator understands the concept, so that they don’t merely translate the script, but capture the essence of the message in a way that will make sense and resonate in any language.
16. Be firm with your voice over artist. Remember he/she does many voice overs. Your challenge is to make him/her treat yours as their first.
17. Stir up an emotion. You have to feel something when you hear the ad.
18. Learn some terminology to help you to communicate with your sound engineer more effectively.
19. Every marketer is seeking an effective and interactive experience for their brand. Radio delivers intimacy, immediacy and imagination. But for the campaign to truly move its audience, the communication must move beyond the 30” spot.
20. With radio being a medium that is live 24/7, creatives, advertisers and media planners alike need to tap into this connection between listener and DJ, via sponsorships, promotions, eventing or give-aways.
Radio Advertising Bureau’s (RAB) RadioGAUGE effectiveness research has revealed that on average, the brand campaigns tested in South Africa to date, outperform the 200+ companies already tested in the UK from a creative point of view.
Jason Brownlee from Dollywagon Media Sciences which formulated the original UK study and is now providing ongoing analysis of the local research results says: “The RadioGAUGE Ad Credibility Benchmark data so far suggests that consumers in South Africa are more likely than their counterparts in the UK to perceive radio as an advertising medium that is good at conveying a brand’s personality and values.”
Building on this, RAB GM Norman Gibson adds that the beauty of the local study is its capacity to provide focused findings, that allow the individual brands tested to better understand how their radio campaigns performed.
Solid evidence from the second campaign tested by RadioGAUGE for a broadcast brand, shows that where radio really succeeded was in reaching a target market that was not only more receptive to information about its services, but the radio advertising was able to reach the key decision makers within households for this brand category.
The study also identified that the poor quality of the creative in the broadcast brand’s campaign unfortunately had a negative effect on listeners’ perceptions/views leading to poor results and the overall reduced effectiveness of the campaign.
This only adds credence to the view that pre-production for radio advertising needs more attention with careful attention to the use of voice over artists. The use of too many voice over artists within each ad, was also seen as confusing and unnecessary.
The key learning in this instance was that there needs to be consistency of message and delivery!