Creating Profitable Radio Advertising: the Advertiser as Expert

Advertisers who voice their own radio commercials often find it a powerful way to leverage their knowledge and expertise, their accessibility, even their personalities to competitive advantage.

After all, as owners their words carry more weight. They are the local experts in their business or profession. Theirs is the voice of authority.

Their additional investment of time and effort in voicing their own commercials multiplies the value of the dollars they’re spending, compounding the effectiveness of their advertising.

Here’s an example of one optometrist’s skillful use of radio:

Over the past 12 years or so, Dr. DeVleming has answered hundreds of questions in his radio spots, which run on a daily basis every week of the year, with copy changes every 3 weeks.

When we first put this campaign together, the objective was to establish the good doctor as the local authority or expert on eye care. His decision to close his spots with “talk to your eye care professional” instead of “come into my office” might seem counter-intuitive, but actually has worked to his advantage. It confers his radio messages with an aura of objectivity and professionalism that lifts them above the usual “ad speak” and gives them greater authenticity. So, even though these are paid radio commercials for his business, they don’t sound like it!

How has this campaign worked for Dr. DeVleming? He says that “new business alone” more than pays for his advertising. His name and practice are widely known and his business is thriving.

This approach, the advertiser-as-expert, represents a tremendous opportunity for radio stations and radio advertisers to collaborate profitably on exciting, effective, long-term advertising campaigns that engage listeners and turn them into customers. Recently a radio station client in Michigan shared a successful campaign he’s been doing for an advertiser whose specialty is dermatology. Good stuff. And there’s the restaurant guy in Arizona whose folksy spots and homespun wisdom have made him a local celebrity.

Over the years I’ve had the privilege of working with professionals in diverse fields—dentistry, podiatry, accounting, real estate, automotive service and repair, even house paint and painting supplies—who have found that by becoming their own spokesmen, they’ve created distinctive and effective advertising campaigns. But that’s not all.

They’ve also become the dominant players in their category.

More on this next time.

About Rod Schwartz

Rod Schwartz backed into a lifelong career in radio advertising in 1973 in Springfield, Illinois. He joined the Pullman (Wash.) Radio Group in 1979, where he worked until his retirement at the end of 2022. Since 1991, Rod and his family have operated Grace Broadcast Sales (, providing short-form syndicated radio features to radio and TV stations across the U.S. and Canada. Rod also operates an independent advertising, marketing, and communications consultancy for small business owners and professionals, An avid photographer, Rod shares some of his favorite images of the Palouse at and on his Viewbug gallery.
This entry was posted in Advertising (General), Client-voiced commercials, Professional Services Advertising, Radio Advertising, Radio Commercials, Radio Production and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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