One more thing …

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“I love it! It’s great! Oh, can I just add one more thing?”

Yes, you’ve honed a FINE radio ad. Marvelled at its sheer brilliance. Held it before the world (of your client) for the final stamp of approval.

And they love it!

So, how do they reward you for this culmination of your years of experience and laborious efforts to craft the single greatest piece of radio ad copy to ever grace the name of {insert business here}??

“One more thing…”

It’s like being handed a death row pardon, and marched in front of a firing squad on your way to sweet, sweet freedom. Well, it is to me, at least.

I live in a world where 30 seconds means 30 seconds. Not 32, or 30.4. 30.000. So “one more thing” really means, “Hey, I need you to totally re-write that to squeeze in this other thing. Yes, yes, of course it’s something that has absolutely zero to do with the rest of the ad! But I totally forgot that it was vital to the ad until after you came up with this really great script. That’s not a problem, is it?”

Thank you Mr. or Mrs. Client. Let’s absolutely destroy a great ad with “one more thing.”

Hey, here’s an idea! Let’s forget entirely that you only paid for 30 seconds of air time, and jam that bad boy so full of extraneous crap that it pegs 50 seconds by the time we’re done!

NO.

Here’s the problem. It’s not a problem about time. (Well, okay, it sort of is, but that’s more a niggling detail than a problem.) It’s not a problem about a client trashing your hard work at crafting them a brilliant radio ad. (Although I’ve met some pretty thin-skinned writers, and that very well may be the biggest problem in their world.)

The problem is that ad is only supposed to be about one thing in the first place!

So what does adding “one more thing” do here?

Nothing good.

Sure, sometimes you can get away with a second thing if it’s closely tied to the first thing. And yes, sometimes two completely different things can make magic. But that has to be planned ahead of time.

If you try to force it in as an afterthought, it’s going to sound like … it was forced in as an afterthought.

So, the question you need to take back to the client at this point is, “What do you want me to cut out of your script to add this extra thing that really doesn’t belong in the ad?”

I’ve asked this questions many times. Explained the reason many times. Usually they listen to the voice of reason and decide you’re right. Sometimes they insist.

Their loss.

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