Radio Hed: Ten Suggestions for Spec. Commercial Success

1. Prepare before you meet with your client: a) Gather background info – Google for insights into the lives of their customers, industry trends, specific local challenges. b) Visit & “secret shop” their store or website. c) Talk to customers, staff. d) Analyze the competition – web site, ads.

Radio Hed Logo 22. In the meeting, share the insights from your research (above) with your client. Record the meeting, take notes. Remind the client of stories they’ve told you that would make good commercials. Before you leave the meeting, manage client expectations. Ask them about their present and future customers. Remind them that you’ll be creating advertising to appeal to their audience, not necessarily to them. Make it clear that the most effective commercials may not fit their preconceived ideas of what a commercial should sound like.  

3. Come back with an intelligent spec. based on your discussion.  Reinforce your client’s ideas as seeds for the campaign. He may suggest changes, but he likely won’t reject the concept because you’ve prepared him.

4. Present a campaign. Play 1-2 produced spots and describe the ideas for others in the campaign. Reinforce the idea of radio advertising being a continuing process.

5. Present the specs in context – insert them into air check. Music, spot, ID, music.  Talk, spot, talk.  These pre-produced segments can be used by everyone at the station who presents to clients.

6. Have your client listen to the spec commercial two to three times before you ask for their comments or “improvements.”The radio audience will hear the message several times before it generates response

7. The presentation of spec. spots should be part of a complete presentation showing how you will help solve the advertiser’s problems.  Produced audio, based on your client’s input can often be more persuasive than figures, numbers, schedules, and impressions.

8. When you present your client’s ideas brought to life, you’re reinforcing the concept of the two of you working together as a team for marketing success.

9. You’re invoking the law of reciprocity. You’ve brought him something of value – your time, creativity, and expense - prior to his financial commitment.

10. Worst case scenario: the client doesn’t buy. Keep that spec. It likely won’t work for another advertiser just by changing the name, but the concept may be able to be resurrected & adapted. 

Following these suggestions, a sales presentation using spec. ads is likely to succeed.

These spec. spot suggestions have come from my experience and that of the broadcasters I work with. Email me jeffrey@hedquist.com with any of your own suggestions.
© 1997-2018 Hedquist Productions, Inc.  All rights reserved.

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