How long should my radio ad be


Guido Tiesarzik

Let me make one thing very clear right at the beginning of this blog post:

A good radio spot is at the heart of any radio campaign. And that's how it should be treated.

Why doesn't that happen in most cases? I have no idea.

In any case, I never tire of holding up the flag that good radio spots are essential. The simplest reason for neglecting good spots is probably: As long as the media (advertising time) costs the customer many times more than the radio spot, this is also the main focus.

It is also easier to understand and the media data and performance values ​​are easier to interpret than the creation of a radio spot. But there should be a good agency for that, among other things.

A plea for a good radio spot

So let's start by making a case for a good radio commercial - good radio advertising and why it's so important.

One of the pillars of ANY EVER is the following: People hate advertising, people love ideas.

Maybe you have to read it again and it has to sink in peace.

This thesis applies to all types of media, not just radio or audio in general.

Nobody can tell me that they are looking forward to the commercial that separates the blockbuster. Or the annoying radio spots that yell at me louder and louder and inflationary outbid each other with their percent battles.

Who doesn't think about getting the ad-free premium account every time they pre-roll on YouTube. Why? Because advertising in general annoys me and doesn't entertain or touch me.

At one of my lectures, a man in the front row told me that the cinema was still doing very good advertising. I asked him when he was last in the cinema ... Embarrassed smile.

Grandiose campaigns as milestones

Only very rarely do we experience such communicative milestones as the Paul Potts campaign by Deutsche Telekom, in which a shy cell phone seller in a badly fitting suit and crooked teeth is smiled at by everyone. But then the unbelievable happens:

This Paul Potts opens his mouth and his operatic vocal power enchants people around the globe, on TV, on all other devices and in the most varied of usage situations. Experience what connects. A great campaign. Incidentally, like a lot of Telekom campaigns. Hopefully it will stay that way even after the Hans-Christian Schwingen era. But if that were the rule, I wouldn't have to go on writing now.

The consumer is far too intelligent

Far too often the consumer is addressed primitively. But he is far too intelligent, networked and enlightened and immediately senses what is authentic and what is not.

Please imagine the following scenery:
Friday evening, 11 pm, I (man) am in my club or my bar. I have seen the lady of my desire sitting at this table all evening. I am very interested and I really want to talk to you.

If I now approach my lady of the heart unwashed, with bad manners and rowdy and yell at her whether she finally wants to go to bed with me, of course only now and only for this week, then everyone can imagine how successful this undertaking was will be.

Seducing instead of yelling

Now you are sure to laugh. But folks, let's be honest: That's exactly what you want to do with your consumers: You want them to be seduced by your brand and your products so that they buy. And preferably not just once, but often and for a long time.

Strangely enough, in the example above, we know that we have to show our best behavior, that we should listen carefully to the lady, compliment her, ensnare her. But why don't we do the same with our advertising?

The goal is the lighthouses

There are always lighthouses of good advertising. Thank God. These campaigns are then talked about and laughed at in the circle of friends. And that is exactly what the goal must be.

It actually pays 1: 1 on the brand. Leave an acoustic footprint that is sustainable, moves in some form and offers the target group added value - however small it may be.

I don't even know how many marketing decision-makers have called us and had to quickly build a campaign out of the ground. So far okay. We are all extremely performance-driven and have to react to so many external factors.

And a big advantage of radio is that radio is extremely fast.

Campaigns are implemented in an average of two weeks - including radio spot production, media planning and purchasing.

And we did it within two days.

But now comes the crux:

"Yes, make it quick and dirty. Everything must Go. 60%, also on reduced goods, binders, website, 13 seconds and full throttle ”.

And whoosh, we have a poor loser who will never get to know a woman.

Conditioned for bad radio spots

But I don't want to blame the customer alone. They often don't know any better and are conditioned to watch bad radio spots with fake and fake speakers. In most cases, however, you will be advised by agencies, and they should know better and have done their homework.

Regardless of what I communicate as a brand out there, whether it's a large-scale image campaign or a small, tactical sales campaign: I always leave an acoustic footprint on my target group. And only I can determine what it looks like.

I can set up the strategically best media planning and thus reach my target group perfectly at different touchpoints. But a contact that I deliver is just a contact at first. It is important to fill it as charmingly as possible.

Now the candidates are sure to come back who believe that a short spot and a higher switching frequency will always lead to the goal. I'm not saying your setup doesn't sell too. From a brand perspective, however, it is not intended for the long term. And we don't have to be surprised if our brands become more and more arbitrary.

Penetrance increases aversion

Imagine telling you a short, bad joke. You won't laugh. The joke doesn't get any better if you hear it more often. Exactly the opposite is the case. They get a tie and threaten me with violence to finally stop. Exactly the same thing happens out there with bad advertising. The penetrance increases the aversion to my brand in the long run.

Since advertising budgets are often not scalable at will, here is my tip:

Make the spots longer in favor of a good idea and throw out a few frequencies for it. If the spot is good, it will be heard and served its purpose and make a point for the brand. As simple as that.

We all look admiringly at brands like Apple or Coca Cola. But why? Because these players do a lot of things right when it comes to product and communication. They create a suction. Do you create that too?

Now of course you are asking yourself: That's all well and good, but how does a good and creative radio spot come about?

I'll go into that in another blog post. But here's the best tip on how to recognize it:

If you feel like counting your friends playing soccer, golf, gymnastics, clams, talking about your new radio spot at the regulars' table or anywhere else, then it will usually be a good creation.

And I bet the people involved were happy to tell everyone about the Paul Potts idea.

Guido Tiesarzik is the founder, owner and CEO of ANY EVER. As an enthusiastic musician, he dedicated himself to audio and radio very early on and has been advertising brands such as Audi, Deutsche Telekom, Red Bull, Burger King and Schauinsland Reisen for 20 years. He has shaped his agency, which has received several international awards, into one of the leading audio marketing agencies.