Keep It Simple

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It’s not just a good philosophy in life. It’s the key to effective radio ads.

Yes, you need to have good storytelling.

Yes, you need to give the listener a reason to care – to fill their needs.

Yes, you need to have a single, clearly defined call to action.

And yes, you need to work all of this magic in about 85 words … if you’re writing a 30.

So yes, simplicity isn’t just key, it’s VITAL.

The words you choose need to have a purpose. You don’t have time to beat around the bush with a big set-up. You’re not writing a feature-length film. This isn’t the great Canadian novel.

What is the most simple, concise, easy to understand collection of 420 characters (excluding spaces) you can use to sell the product, the benefit it offers the listener (because nobody really cares a lick about the advertiser, let’s be honest), scream a singular call to action in the listener’s ear, and start the whole thing off with something that will hold their attention past the first 15 words out of the voice talent’s mouth?

That’s your mission. Sounds a lot harder when you look at it like that, eh?

But it’s not harder, it’s exactly that hard. That’s why they pay you the big bucks.

So you have to tell a story, quickly.
If there’s a punchline, you have to build to it and deliver it quickly.
How are you trying to make the listener feel about the product/client?
You need to get to that part quickly as well.

Every word you choose has to serve a purpose. Or get rid of it.

Short words. Short sentences. Clear directions. One problem. One solution.

Use verbs.

You remember verbs, don’t you? In grade school, they taught us about those magical “action words!”

Go. Shop. Drive. BUY.

They’re not just words … they’re instructions.

Your listener is generally distracted when they hear your ads. Cooking dinner, driving, scrubbing their scalp in the shower, who knows. But, like a precocious toddler engrossed in play, you need to bark out simple instructions to get them to take action.

Keep it simple. Get results. Make happy clients.

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