Say less, mean more…

If there is one maxim that we at Bojingles would like to stress to any potential radio commercial client, it is this – Less is More.

In other words, when you are putting together a brief for a 30 second radio ad, do not give the poor production company 9 bullet points and insist they are all essential…

Bear in mind that we have a sensible maximum of 80 words to play with (70 is better if we want to allow the script to breathe and maybe to introduce and finish any music properly).  If there is more than one speaker, reduce to 65 or less: conversation is slower and people leave gaps between talking and listening.

Now take away the words we need for the ‘call to action’ at the end – and 90% of you insist on a phone number (often twice) as well as a web address and directions, even though few people these days are going to stop to write a number down.

So we now probably have about 40 words in which to be super-creative. Oh joy. This is why when you say ‘very nice but can you just add in….’ the correct answer is ‘no’.

So if it’s that restricted a format, what can you hope to achieve?

The answer: Say One Thing, and say it well. Then repeat frequently via a canny media plan.

Don’t over-elaborate, and don’t expect immediate results; unless it happens to be a never-to-be repeated offer for sale today, you won’t get everyone out of their kitchens and cars to take instant action. Radio works by repetition.

Above all, trust your creatives. Don’t hamstring them in advance, and don’t try to be your own scriptwriter. Follow these few pieces of advice and you are much more likely to be pleasantly surprised by the results…