I’ve produced something useful in radio, TV, print or collateral for over 300 local, regional and national advertisers, including one or two of your competitors. They all had a Unique Problem. Most of those Unique Problems were, and still are, more or less the same: “Not enough people agree with you!”
I try to find out what facts the advertisers think are important, then ask the customers why they wanted the stuff, and then try to get both points of view into the advertising. After six stints as a Big Agency copywriter & Creative Director, I hung out my own shingle and started to help successful local clients become very successful national advertisers.
This page presents 40 or so Click to Listen radio or TV spots from my favorite campaigns. Click the pic of the lady about to fall through her living room floor for a TV reel.
Our Real People testimonial campaign for Dinovite debuted on Sean Hannity in October 2006 with “Stinky Dog.” I’m told it’s is one of the five longest running campaigns on network radio.
We increased weekly revenues from $5K to $250K in the first 18 months and passed $100MM in August 2017. Ed Lukacevic estimates that we’ve probably saved about a quarter million dogs from the Nutritional Deficiency Miseries inflicted by cooked and irradiated dog food. “Does your dog itch, scratch, stink or shed like crazy? Come to Dinovite for help!”
Health Food Supplements hired us to dance nimbly around those pesky FDA Regs designed by Big Pharma to put you out of business. We use carefully edited customer anecdotes that do not explicitly promise any future results. But foodies and aficionados can hear between the lines.
If your HFS website or call-center TMs can already convert a fair percentage of Inquiries to Orders, consider testing Real People radio. Case in point: After ten years selling direct to customers in Dallas, Dennis Black was up to almost $25K/month gross. We took his generic super food straight up to $900K/month in 180 days – after devising a new name, new packaging, and a built from scratch website.
Dice.com After five years running classified ads in Dr. Dobbs, PC Week, etc. Dice.com, the largest IT job board, called six agencies for suggestions. Which publications would help the site attract more resumes from Sed, Awk, Grep, C++ and other code writers & systems engineers? I suggested we use radio instead of print. Reach IT guys on their way to and from work. Tempt them with dozens of better jobs awaiting them one or two highway exits closer to home.
In 18 months our Click the Dice network and local market radio and TV spots (left pics) increased weekly HPH from 125K to 1.5MM, placed 128,000 extra IT pros in jobs (@$8K commission per job – got a calculator?), and pushed Dice.com’s annual recruiter & HR fees from $14 to $40 million. We actually made advertising a profit center.
National Dynamics Speed Tapes. “You can learn Spanish in just 20 minutes a day!” The same :30 had run profitably for nine years on network radio, but DR guru Jim McAllister was bored. His in-bound TMs said the main “Yeah, but…” among people who called but did not buy was that they had taken Spanish in High School and had a hard time memorizing. (Always defuse “Yeah, buts…” if you can!)
I took “memorizing” off the table. In the next three years I made over fifty 30-second lessons that demoed why “Spanish is Easy!” Week I call volume jumped from 2,000 to 5,000. Conversion jumped from 22% to 28%. The campaign added $35MM to McAlister’s bottom line. Jim was so flush he could even afford to sponsor a Bob Dylan Concert in LA, which led me to pen & produce one of my all-time favorite :60s…
Back in my early days as a copywriter at Y&R in NYC my first ever national radio campaign – for Excedrin – won the IBA Best of Show Sweepstakes Award in LA. It’s been uphill ever since.
I kept Frank Borman’s Eastern Airlines flying for an extra three years or so (“We have to earn our wings every day.“), bounced Cathy Rigby on a Beautyrest, and debuted Mello Yello. Carnival Cruise Lines needed well-heeled, A+ personaltiy types to fill their very empty Crystal Palace Hotel in the Bahamas.
For years Time Warner’s CableVision of Central Florida customers hated the crummy billing, installation, transmission… But they loved the programming. So I suggested we give it a new name. That was just after I introduced the new Washington Post Sunday Maaaaagazine at DDB/Needham which occurred just after launching Aetna’s new PPO, which also needed a new name: Partners National Health Plans.
New home owners often need an easy-to-drive Budget Rent-A-Truck to move their stuff locally. Others can get a Far Low Discount from Ryder to move to Baa Haabaa, or to their new Perfect Spot way, way out west.
Corporate ads plant seeds in the consumer’s mind – for later. Retail gives them a price & time reason to buy Now, from You! Direct Response guys have to plant and harvest in about four minutes. I get one minute to open a sale, you get three to close it.
To take a local or regional brand national, spend 6-18 months building revenues in click-to DR. AM/FM network Talk Radio is an excellent venue for DR because your target audience is already listening to the words!
Attack and solve a real and thorny problem better than everyone else. Get your own customers to gush your praises. Make your website look like your advertising sounds.
South Floridians were terrified when those IRS Men in Black come a knockin’. In Detroit we helped hundreds of out-of-work homeowners face the biggest foreclosure storm in history. To repair her dirty rotten deck Marcia called Homefield Financial for fast cash. When Brad fell through the ceiling he called Quality Smith for fast repairs.
Lotsa gals who wanna feel pretty flocked to DC’s 11 Cosmetic Centers; Alexander Scourby walked us through River Oaks and Johnny Cash (sorta) burned his lease to buy a condo at Norgate Manor here in Atlanta. Presumably there was no yucky grout grunge in the bathroom.
I out-pulled Credit Answers’ long-running Control Commercial 5:1 by dramatizing The Core Fantasy cherished by millions of Credit Card Deadbeats. Oops, too late. Ten days later the Feds shut down the entire category.
Speaking of 5:1 ratios and thus arithmetic, listen to how 5th graders learn their times tables with, for example, 36 Lollipop Licks. Other kids still have a Time Very Reading Hard. Dr. Jerry Blum can help.
Normal everyday kids need something fun to do after school, right? Send ’em to Jellibeans!
People only buy things they’re aware of. If few people out there are aware of you, start off by establishing your bona fides among our 60 million AM/FM N/T radio listeners.
Our intro network radio testimonial package includes 3-6 intro :60s and a few :30 lifts or promos. The copy, so to speak, comes from my phone interviews with you and a dozen or so Happy Customers.
TV is obviously a little more complex, although in 2015 we produced & ran the first ever 100% customer-selfie video campaign – for Dinovite.
The media planning and buy is another issue. If you can handle a 4 to 5:1 return on your media investment and are comfortable with all that 5th Grade multiplyin’ and dividin’, click to the Life After Google page. Or just pick up the phone right now.