Radio Hed: Pull the Radio Listener Along

Radio-Hed-Logo-2By Jeffrey Hedquist

In my live seminars I sometimes have participants do a push/pull exercise to demonstrate how much more effective it is to pull (invite, cajole, seduce, welcome, ask, tempt, suggest, attract, lure) than to push (order, force, drive, nudge, poke, spur, prod, demand, browbeat) someone along.

An effective story commercial pulls the listener along. It leads him/her from the opening to the turning point, through the conflict to the climax. The conflict is a necessary component, because it provides the interest, the spice, the hook that keeps the listener’s attention. He/she wants to experience a resolution to the conflict.

The advertiser’s service or product triggers the resolution. Your story has created an itch that the advertiser scratches.

Remember, radio is the most sensual medium, so get the audience to see, feel, taste and smell as well as hear. We’re all oriented differently, so what one listener hears may create vivid pictures, while another might feel tactile sensations.

The nice thing about audio is you can trigger the senses much more quickly than can visual media - a handy quality when you only have a few seconds to touch your listener’s senses.

But wait, there’s more! Audio impressions also last longer than impressions that come through our eyes from reading or watching. Cool, huh?

These are compelling reasons to create strong sensual impressions not necessarily intellectual arguments. You bring your compelling screenplay to life by putting the listener in the middle of the action. Your sound design – the voices, the conversations, the room, the sounds, music and the silence – all should be mixed to pull the listener into your multisensory movie.

Even if it may only be :15, you’re inviting the listener on a journey. The elements I’ve just described will keep them on that journey for the whole commercial and then pull them along to the door, phone or web site of your client.

© 1997 - 2014 Hedquist Productions, Inc.

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