The Radio Commercial: The Mechanics 7

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The Radio Commercial: The Mechanics 7

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1. The Radio Commercial: The Mechanics (7) Radio strengths and weaknesses Radio copy formats Radio and the Internet

2. Radio is theater of the mind You create images in the listener’s mind. You use ... Words Music Sound Effects Voices

3. Strengths of Radio Highly targeted to demographics/lifestyle Available to listeners everywhere. Copy changes can be made quickly. You’ll be creating new copy quickly! Inexpensive

4. Weaknesses of Radio Can’t show the product Spot must create a vivid picture in listener’s mind Radio can create powerful impressions at a low cost Inattention of the listener Commercial must gain and hold attention

5. How to gain attention? Use words Use sound effects Use music. Use an attention-getting character voice

6. Voices in commercials Single voice copy Two-Voice Copy Two Voices alternate Dialog Copy Usually a Mini-drama Calls for dramatic talent Is talent available? Don’t be so witty that audience remembers spot but not the product

7. One voice spots One voice/no music or SE OPT Bus Essential one-voice + Music + SE J. Michaels Bally VO Whiskey

8. Dialogue spots Planned parenthood Mitsubishi

9. Use sound effects to ... Establish a setting Baseball game, wedding, cave Set a mood Music to suggest a club/wind to suggest cold weather Establish time clock strikes midnight/alarm clock/metronome/rooster Indicate to audience what they’re hearing “Is that Thunder -- in the middle of a snowstorm?” Type in all caps and underlined

10. Use music to get and hold audience Get attention Stings/stabs/ Fright or danger Establish a location Hawaii, Mariachi, oriental Sound effect Auld Lang Syne, Happy birthday Establish a theme bright, upbeat/sad/quality/contemp Use music under all the spot, for transition, conclusion

11. All music used must be licensed Except for public domain Stations/networks licensed to air ASCAP, BMI, SESAC music -- not for commercials. Separate payment made for commercial use. Harry Fox agency in NY must license. Public Domain? Don’t use popular songs in spots w/o special contract and extra cash payment Most stations/networks/agencies pay for a production music/sound effects library. MajicMusic Cut 1, Disk 4658

12. Live Copy Only “live talent” copy and live remote copy is actually read live. All other spots are pre-produced.* *Except very small stations

13. Live Ad-Lib Copy (ad libitum: done spontaneously) . Spot done live by popular air personality for an additional fee. Talent receives fee. Copywriter prepares announcer fact sheet from which talent ad-libs the spot.

14. Live Remote 93 Q, Live Remote, Jimmy Olson Fermanos/P&C

15. Recorded commercial production Most stations pre-record all spots except live talent spots. Spot is recorded perfectly, resulting in a more professional station sound.

16. Donut Copy The open and close for a commercial is pre-produced , leaving a “hole” of time in the middle of the spot. The middle of the commercial is inserted in the on the “hole” later.

17. 7- second donut open: (Music up and under) “Dinner’s delightful when Wegman’s cooks hot and hearty for your family” 18-second donut “hole” (music continues under) Watch your family smile tonight when you serve them juicy fresh shrimp, asparagus, and mushrooms in a zesty oriental peanut sauce heaped on top of steaming rice! Hot, hearty, and ready 15 minutes after you get home! The flavor and the price are right tonight at Wegman’s! 5-sec donut close (music under to end) “You’ll be a hero tonight after you bring home a fresh, ready-to-cook dinner from your neighborhood Wegman’s ”

18. Timing radio copy Various types of spots are read faster or more slowly. Number of words can not be used to as a guide to correct length. Learn to time copy with a stop watch while reading silently.

19. Questions? In-class writing assignment

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