Commercial Time Stretch
August 19, 2014
Y'know how sometimes a short period of time in your life can seem like an eternity? How about that experience where you want to go back and savor a special moment again and again?
With radio, you can give the listener those experiences, because the constraints of time disappear when you're interacting with the imagination.
Focus on one tiny event and expand it.
In a radio commercial, you can have someone impatiently waiting in line as we listen to the voices in their mind reminding them (and us) that they could have saved time by going through the drive-in, or the ATM, or to another retailer, or by ordering online or over the phone.
Coke did a commercial years ago for their 40-ouncer that I continue to play for seminar audiences because of its power. In it, a close-mic'ed bottle pour morphs with the roar of ocean waves, lightly-seasoned with the sounds of seagulls for almost 30 seconds, tagged with a three-second voiceover.
What moments would you want to savor: your first kiss, a promotion, a graduation, a marriage proposal, a delicious first sip of wine at a world-class restaurant, the very top of a rollercoaster, the moment you're licked in the face by your first puppy?
What moments could be expanded for effect? Decisions ... of all kinds.
She: So, what do you want to do tonight?
(Thinking to himself) Let's see, If I take her to X, she'll think I'm doing it just to impress her ... if we go to Y, it'll cost too much ... if we go to Z, it'll mean dressing up ... if I invite her to my place...
He: How about...(Advertiser)?
She: I thought you'd never ask.
One bite of food at a restaurant takes a person back to his grandmother's kitchen with all the descriptions and attendant sounds.
Think of these scenarios as instant replays where everything happens in slow motion, then describe it in delicious imaginative detail so that the listener participates in the moment and thinks of the advertiser.
Powerful moments are all around us. Expand them with the help of listener's imaginations and make some great radio.
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