His client, Mark, manages the local Chevrolet store and has been its radio spokesman for many years. Mark writes all his own copy. This is the script he’d written for our recording session:
JUST WHAT YOU’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR… HI, MARK YRAZABAL AT CHIPMAN & TAYLOR CHEVROLET IN PULLMAN. THAT’S RIGHT, JUST THE RIGHT CAR FOR YOU, THE ALL NEW CHEVY CRUZE. IT’S GOT THE COMFORT AND CONVENIENCES OF A MUCH BIGGER CAR, COUPLED WITH THE PERFORMANCE AND HANDLING OF A SMALLER SPORTS CAR. IT OFFERS 5 STAR SAFETY, 10 AIR BAGS AND UP TO 42 MILES PER GALLON OR MORE. I HAVE SEVERAL TO CHOOSE FROM AND YOU CAN LEAS A NICELY EQUIPPED LS MODEL FOR ONLY $199 A MONTH PLUS TAX, FOR 39 MONTHS, WITH ONLY $1500 DOWN. ONCE YOU EXPERIENCE A CRUZE FOR YOURSELF, YOU’LL BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND WHAT A TREMENDOUS VALUE IT IS… SO COME SEE US WHILE SELECTION IS BEST ONLY AT CHIPMAN & TAYLOR IN PULLMAN…(JINGLE).
First problem: this is way too much copy for a thirty-second spot, even for a fast reader such as Mark.
Second problem: the opening line is a waste. “Just what you’ve been looking for” could be about anything. The opening line is the ad for the ad; we have to win the listener’s attention in the first few seconds.
My replacement talks directly to a prospect who’s in the market for a new car: “Is the all-new Chevy Cruze the right car for YOU?”
Other edits: I killed “smaller” (redundant), “I have several to choose from” (expected), “nicely equipped” (dealer-speak), and “only” (unnecessary), and replaced the declarative “Once you experience a Cruze for yourself, you’ll begin to understand…” with a punchier call-to-action: “So drive a Cruze and you’ll understand…”
Finally, we eliminated that last bit of dealer-speak, “So come see us while selection is best…” and—this may have been the most difficult thing for Mark to embrace, since it involved killing his darling—I changed “only at” to “here at.” (Clearly this dealership is not the only place one can find a Chevy Cruze. To imply otherwise invites a subconscious and instinctive negative reaction.)
I niggle over these things because they matter. Words matter.
Here’s the commercial as it’s running on the air today.
Too many car dealer radio and TV ads sound the same. They all use the same tired clichés, hyperboles, and adspeak, it’s hard to distinguish one dealership from another. A script you banged out in five minutes isn’t likely to move the needle. Make the investment of time, effort, and focus. Give your first draft a second thought. Create advertising that actually means something to your prospect.
Improved advertising will improve your ROI.
Do you have a script that needs tweaking? Ready to create better ads for your business? Call me.