Spot Wars - The Producer Strikes Back!!

by John Bowen

(A long time ago at a radio station far away....)

(Intro music: bombastic John Williams theme.)

Anncr (Bigger than life delivery--Don Pardo on steroids): "In the ever-expanding war between Sales and Production, the battles wreak their casualties...usually the clients! As the sales force goes out into the elements to stalk, capture and bring in the monetary kill of the day, the dagger of performance and quota thrust to their jugular, the Production Director screams for a creative voice to keep the wistful and evasive listener tuned in. Where is the middle ground in the Spot Wars? Where can the two sides reach a peace settlement?"

Case in point: I receive a production order from an enthusiastic, energetic salesperson. She wants to wow a local jeweler on the advantages of radio advertising. Her verbiage on the order: "I need a demo for this client. He specializes in familiarizing the buyer with the diamond." Okay...any address? Phone number? How long has he been in business? Any specials? If he merely familiarizes the customers, how do I motivate the listener to go to him to buy, not merely for consultation? Should I say, "This guy knows diamonds. This guy knows diamonds. This guy knows diamonds" for sixty seconds? I can't even say "the largest selection at the lowest prices" or some other verbal diarrhea because that may not be what the client himself wants to communicate to the listener. I later found out from the GSM that he used to be an architect and now he applies this skill and experience to designing jewelry creations. YES!! This I can work with!! "He's a jewelry architect"...designing custom diamond and gem creations as precious as your sentiment...as individual as your taste...offering private consultation in designing and constructing exactly what is in your heart that you cannot express with mere words. His location is.... His phone number is...." A little supplementary info transforms cliches into a campaign.

She then says, "I'll bring the client in. You two can put something together in the studio in about ten minutes, can't you?" Let's face it, I'm no Andy Capp (as of this writing!). It takes me longer than ten minutes to put out quality copy. But the point I'm trying to make is that even the biggest of leaguers needs something to write about so you don't end up embarrassing your client, your station, and yourself.

Hey, all you salespeople out there! I'm really on your side! I'm here to help you make money so we can all eat! In your flurry to do your job, remember your Production Director! He's good, but only God can create something from nothing!

(fade up music)

Anncr: Even in the hallowed pages of this prestigious journal, the eternal struggle between the forces of Sales and Production has hit home right here in the "Forum" column. "To create or not to create? That is the question." (Boy, that's good stuff! Somebody should make a play out of that or something!)