Writing Spots that Sell

(The first in an occasional series)

So much has been written on this subject. However, I think it can really be boiled down to a few very basic fundamental concepts.

Every business, whether they realize or not, has or has the potential to offer up something that others do not. It is found within the hierarchy of Product, Service, and People.

Since a widget is a widget, why buy from company A over company B?  Sure price could be a factor, but if not – where do you decide to spend your hard earned widget buck?  Of course then there’s service and/or people:  “Our people have more widget training than anyone in town!”  That is a good start, but it also has to answer “how or why” in 30 to 60 seconds.

At the same time you need to be thinking about how to put that on paper while guarding against adspeak clichés.  Here are some to avoid:

  • “fast friendly service”
  • “serving (City) for over ? years”
  • “our team of experts”
  • “your back to school (or other) headquarters”

Those are just a few from a list that could fill the rest of this article, but you get the idea.

OK, so now back on task. After evaluating the “people” aspect of your business, study the “service” element. Maybe since widgets need some type of service or repair along the way, you have decided to be the only “Certified Widget Repair” in town, but again “why” and “how” ( perhaps 5 years of extra widget training at the factory etc.) Drill down and do not settle for generalities. Be specific and clear.

So now you have a layering in effect of how important Product, Service and People are in terms of importance and value to the customer when it comes to widget shopping. That is a good start, but only the beginning of the process of how to actually put it into a radio commercial. It is only creative ground zero or baseline if you will.

In adspeak this will be your USP or unique selling proposition that the spot will be built around. Truly defining that may be harder than it sounds because you also have to move the listener through a multi-stage “decision to buy” process.

  1. They have to be aware you are even out there.
  2. They have to have some type of pre-need for what you offer.
  3. Then, comes educating them on why they buy from you.
  4. This is followed by actual decision to buy.
  5. Lastly, is the action they take to come in and buy your widget. (In adspeak, “call to action”.)

How long this process takes can vary for many reasons, but a well written commercial is essential to starting the process.

(Source material taken from The Tailored Plan Crawford Broadcasting Co.)
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