The Original, One and Only

Uncle Sam—an American original

Here is a one-word reason advertisers should give serious consideration to participating in their radio commercials:



Each of us is, in the strict sense of the word, unique. An original, not a clone.

As a business owner/operator, your role as a spokesman for your business is also unique.

Although some advertisers are able to take a radio commercial script and make it theirs, others find it difficult to read convincingly from the printed page. Fortunately, it is not necessary that they be able to do so in order to create compelling commercials featuring their own voice. Listen to this example of a local “original,” sent to me a few years back by a client who runs a radio station in a small Missouri market: Tell me you didn’t wish, if only for a moment, that you could sit down to one of Maxine’s home-cooked dinners!

One of my favorite longtime local advertising clients manages a wine, beer, specialty foods shop in Moscow, ID. Terry has been the voice of his commercials for many years, though I’ve never had him read from a script. Rather, I engage him in conversation about the product(s) in question and record his responses. Here’s a commercial typical of his approach: Terry sounds like an expert because he is one. Wine Company customers frequently seek his advice on wine or beer pairings with a particular food, and all would agree: he knows his stuff.

Personalization makes such a huge difference in an advertising campaign, its importance cannot be overstated. Geico Insurance is one of radio’s biggest spenders. Most listeners are familiar with Geico’s slogan (“Fifteen minutes could save you hundreds on car insurance.”) and the distinctive voice of its spokesman. But who is he? Do we know him? Do we really care about him? By contrast, here’s another popular radio advertiser with a distinctive slogan. The difference is, we know their spokesman by name. For twenty years, he’s been dropping by to chat with us, leaving us with a smile and a promise. And what an impression he’s made!

Originality. There’s nothing like it.

Especially when it comes to building your brand on radio.

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), Branding, Client-voiced commercials, Communication, Radio Advertising, Radio Commercials, Radio Copywriting, Radio Production, Sales & Marketing, Storytelling and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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