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The Mid-Week Motivator – The Art of Cinematic Promos

Here’s one targeted right to Radio’s programmers. Put to the ultimate test, the measure of a great promo is its ability to make someone look at their radio. Half of all promo creative falls short!

The mind works much like a computer; it takes in what it’s sent. But unlike a computer, it doesn’t retain messages with equal value. Those which cut-through stick; those misunderstood or not understood roll-away into the ozone. “The Lakeshore’s Music Station for 25 Years” is not a value-phrase; instead a hollow claim: who cares how many years? And, what “style” of music?

“96.3 The WOLF–The Valley’s 20 In a Row Country” on the other hand makes a strong promise which carries value and it differentiates from competitors.But the preceding are simply phrases typical of any radio station. Come to promos, many miss their target by a mile. They either try to do too much, trying too hard to hammer a point. Others simply get lost in a sea of messages. For purposes of illustration let’s consider morning show promos as an example. An effective promo begins with strategy. What’s the desired outcome?

1.     Always have a firm grip on what you’re trying to accomplish with the promo. You want to stick an important message, you want to increase your station’s vertical cycling (more flow-through into the next day-part) or, you’re hoping to drive the show’s horizontal cycling (more days-sampled across the week). Hint: that’s where the real time-spent-listening originates!

2.     The Show & Tell factor: actually you should choose one—either show or tell. You can “tell” listeners about your show and station (which is more or less like handing out business cards over the air) or, you can show them your cast in 3-D cinematic living color, allowing listeners to draw positive conclusions.

3.     A reminder: sometimes, to get closer to your audience you need to step back away from them.

Use a Clear Set Up
·        Who are these people showcased in the promo?·        What station are they on and where do I find them on the dial?

Create Clear Content
·        Have a specific call-to-action: when can I listen to this show (specific time)?

·        Again, what’s the dial position and core brand theme?

·        Ask yourself this question: After hearing the promo what does the listener take away with certainty?

Every week, challenge your talent to “compete” for the mind. A credible message done with exceptional creative writing and production stays in the mind and lingers in the memory.