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The Five Rules of Great Radio: Rule 2 [Video]

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Editor's note:This video is the third in a series that lays out some best-practices not only for radio in a digital age but also for marketing and advertising generally.

Quick! I want you to recite the first five billboards you saw on your drive to work this morning. What? You don't remember? OK, then, let's try this: Tell me the first three headlines you saw on your favorite news source. No? Nothing?

OK. One last chance: Tell me one commercial you saw on TV last night. Just one.

Now we're getting somewhere!

Our capacity to remember is a primary consideration when writing radio copy. Too often, advertisers cram multiple copy points into a spot. Don't! Restrict yourself to one big idea. Just one. If the seven copy points they want in that :30 are really that important, then they each deserve their own spot. But nobody—nobody—is going to remember seven items from one spot. (Or even three.)


If you want your radio spot to work, follow Rule 2: Focus on One Big Idea. (For more, watch the following three-minute video.)

Radio Rule 2, Exemplified:

Harley Davidson Clothing by SoundscapesCreativeAudio

Videos in this series:

  1. The Five Rules of Great Radio: Rule 1

  2. The Five Rules of Great Radio: Rule 2

  3. The Five Rules of Great Radio: Rule 3

  4. The Five Rules of Great Radio: Rule 4 (a)

  5. The Five Rules of Great Radio: Rule 4 (b)

  6. The Five Rules of Great Radio: Rule 5

  7. How to Get Your Creative Approved

  8. Should You Appeal to Your Audience's Right Brain or Left Brain?

  9. Dialogue Writing, Part 1: Chaos Is Good!

10. Dialogue Writing, Part 2: Where to Start

11. Think Landing Page, Not Phone Number


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Brent Walker is owner of Soundscapes, creative audio for broadcast and emerging media. Contact him by phone at 501-661-1765 or via the Soundscapes website

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  • by George M Vodin Thu Aug 18, 2011 via web

    I have found that in order to perfect the message, I need to rewrite the copy over and over again, then test it and rewrite it again. It's kind of like witteling wood, you start out with no shape or form, but the more you work with it, the more refined and succinct it becomes. Quick example about testing. I wrote a :60 spot offering a free white paper, "Five Essentials for Business Success". I tested it on several people and two ladies, one a banker, the other a former ad agency executive, said they did not know what a white paper was. This was confusing to them and it never would have surfaced if I had not tested.

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