Wednesday, 3 February 2010

The 30 second sell

Spot advertising is dead it's just an excuse for your listener to retune.  The same on TV FFWD on Sky+ and V+ and TiVo kills the ads.

So if you do have only thirty seconds to sell that amazing product that your client wants to have six mentions of his phone number and complicated web address including all those wretched www's here are a few tips:

KISS - Keep it simple stupid.  Choose one great thing the advertiser is selling, avoid those long lists with 'plus' punctuated every few seconds - lists make stinky ads.

DIRECT - make sure you are pro-active with the voice over, direct them, listen to their read, make sure they give a performance not a shouty thirty seconds of noise.  Use dramatic pauses and don't overwrite the script - how many ads have you heard where without judicious editing the voice over would have expired through lack of breath?

A NICE TUNE - Music is soo important, I used to spend hours listening through the production discs (It's better now they are online) but getting the right track to suit the advertiser lifts the whole ad and never be afraid to use more than one track of music.

IN HOUSE I remember many years ago we were making an ad for an Italian restaurant and we had an odd-job man who was Italian (Armando r.i.p.)  - and the CP department dragged him into the booth and for a few quid cash they got an authentic Italian doing the ad and the client loved it.  So look and listen around you for the talent on your own doorstep.

LEGAL SH*T It has to be there - just run a neutral voice at the end, better if you are allowed to stick it at the front.  Remember the ad is a performance - most people want to leave the theatre uplifted and singing the last song (possible exception is Cabaret)

YOU'RE HAVING A LAUGH If you can make the ad funny, don't force it or make it labour a point but if you entertain the listener they will stick with you and listen.  Simples (By the way there is now a lobby to have that word added to the Oxford Dictionary)

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