Radio Hed: Mnemonic Devices

radio-hed-logo1By Jeffrey Hedquist

Want listeners to remember the advertiser in the commercial? Sure you do. Try using mnemonics as aids to memory.

How about the name of the store, service, product, owner?  Hear any rhymes, plays on words, metaphors? For a campaign for Wright State University, we used “make the Wright choice.”

Do any characters, accents, voices come to mind? How about a particular kind of music, or sound effect? There’s a radio spot for a new wine out with the name “canyon.” Every time canyon is spoken by any of the characters or announcer, it echoes. Even if you can’t remember the whole name (as I can’t), you might just ask for the new wine with canyon in the name. We created a very successful spot for Anderson-Elerding Travel that used a bell to emphasize the name Eler-ding. The client even used a visual of a bell in their print ads. (Listen to the spot on this month’s RAP Cassette.)

Building a direct response spot around the client’s phone number? Can you make it rhyme? How about singing the number?

Sure, some of these are corny, but they stick in the mind. We all have mnemonics lurking in our brain cells from years ago. I don’t think I’ll ever forget “It’s Cott to be good!” from New England’s Cott Beverages and “What color Orange Ford do you want?” from Albany’s Orange Ford.

In every case, these devices make the spot unique to that client. You couldn’t just substitute another advertiser’s name in the spot and have it work.

Find ways to link the advertiser with a sense—taste, smell, sight, hearing, touch—and you’ll create a hook for the listener’s memory to hang on to.

© 1999 Hedquist Productions, Inc.

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet