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Four Steps to a Killer Radio Ad Campaign

You’ve tried radio advertising. Bought some package the sale rep offered. Ran a few ads that sounded “professional” and got little return out of it.

That’s because you didn’t do it my way.*

Here are the four steps to running a Killer radio ad campaign.

  1. Figure out your core values.
  2. Pick one core value that will have the deepest connection with your customers (and one that your competitors most likely don’t have).
  3. Write a killer emotional ad that touches on that core value.
  4. Keep the ad running changing only the copy, not the core value, now through Christmas.

Core Values

These are the values both you and your business hold dear. Values that you will never change. Values so strong that you would rather close up shop than change them.

My store’s core values are Fun, Helpful, Educational, and Nostalgic. Ask me to drop any of those and it is a deal killer. If you are struggling to figure out your core values, download my free eBook Understanding Your Brand and the accompanying worksheets.

Deep Connection

Believe it or not but it isn’t income, education or marital status that drives loyal customers into your store. Your best customers are there because they share the same values or belief system that you do. Those shared values are the bond between you.

The deeper that connection, the stronger the bond.

When you pick a value to use for your marketing, either pick the one that is the most emotional or the one that is least likely to be found in your competitors.

For example, as a toy store, one of my values is Fun. But all of my competitors also have some claim on the concept of Fun because we all sell toys. Nostalgia, however, runs much deeper and more emotional. Education is a missing component in the big box competitors, and Helpful has never been their strong suit either. So I tend to focus on those values in my ads.

Killer Emotional Ads

Remember that the goal of your ad is to move someone to action. That someone is the person who shares your values. Write an ad directly at her heart. Speak to her and only to her. Speak about her values and how you understand them. Speak to her concerns, needs, and beliefs.

Forget about everyone else who might be hearing your ad and just write it to that one person. You will be amazed at how many of those “one persons” there are out there.

Killer emotional ads do not sound like any other ad on the radio. That is good! No one likes ads so we tune out anything that remotely sounds like an ad. Here is an example of a killer emotional ad…

He left Detroit 9am Christmas Eve… Someone somewhere had to have the one toy his sweet little six-year old wanted. Six cities…seven stores later, he stood, travel-weary, across the counter from me. “I suppose you don’t have any Simon games either.” As I handed over the last of our Simon games he smiled and said, “God Bless You!” Believe me, He already has. Merry Christmas from the Toy House in downtown Jackson. We’re here to make you smile.

Keep it Going

Radio advertising is not a sprint. It is a long distance run. If you want this campaign to give you great fourth quarter results, you have to start running now.

At the same time, radio ads can get boring really quickly. One superbly written, emotionally-driven, killer ad can turn boring in only a matter of weeks. So you have to write a whole bunch of ads all around the same value. Figure out how to say the same thing five different ways and you have the makings of a killer campaign.

There are eighteen weeks until Christmas. Five ads all about your strongest core value running three to four weeks each will connect you powerfully to your best customers and get them to choose you over your competitors this fall.


-Phil Wrzesinski


*PS My way is really Roy’s way, as in Roy H. Williams, aka The Wizard of Ads. He taught me. I did it. I saw the results.

PPS For more on how to use radio the right way, check out this post I wrote in 2009.

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