Category Archives: Advertising

The perfect headline


So I’m flipping through the channels, enjoying my time off from work, and I see ‘Top Gear’ listed on the DirecTV channel guide.  I’ve heard about it but really, most car shows are over my head and bore me.  Usually its guys talking about torgue ratios, gear ratios and more engine stats than I want to know.  But then the description catches my eye, “Dodge Viper SRT vs. Cobra helicopter.”  Can I really watch a Dodge Viper race a helicopter!!!  In a word: SWEEEEEEET!

So I click over and the first thing I see is 3 guys showing off 3 different Lamborghinis.  They demo each car, show how fast they are, talk about how much they cost and other very top-level (non car geek info) stats about the car.  (i.e. These things go 0-to-60 in 3.4 seconds).  Holy cow!  They get into a discussion about which one is fastest.  So, naturally, the next thing they do is RACE THEM.

By this time I’m hooked.  I even missed the car vs. helicopter stunt but who cares this is a bad ass show!  I may even go ‘Like’ the show on Top Gear’s Facebook page

My point is that because the producers (or network) wrote a killer headline, who wouldn’t want to watch a sports car race a helicopter, I tuned in and sampled their brand/show.  And, as a marketer, that’s all you can ask for — a consumer to sample your brand.  After that it’s up to the product to deliver on whatever promise the marketing guys made.

The bonus here is that the brand/show actually delivered on it’s promise to me, the consumer.  The headline said I would see something really cool that I had never seen before.  And I did.

Keep that in mind when writing headlines for your blogs, print ads, radio spots, TV spots or any other marketing materials.  Be sensational. Find the most sensational (truthful) point of what you are selling or writing about and use that to draw in customers.

Oh and in the next episode they raced two skiers down a mountain in a Mitsubishi Evo. 🙂  The car won.


The Best and Worst Christmas Commercials

The Best
Target – Santa Running to get Last Minute Gift Ideas

The spot opens with Santa running in slow motion as fast as he can. It continues that way for about 8 seconds. Then the camera zooms to a wider shot to show that Santa was in a parking lot sprinting towards the Target. The full screen chyron reads: “Great Last Minute Gifts” (or something similar). Funny AND memorable with a CLEAR MESSAGE. (Go to Target for your last-minute gift needs)

The Worst
Legos – Father and Son Build a Lego House

I really have NO IDEA what they are trying to say. The spot shows a time lapse of two sets of hands building a lego mansion with a windmill on top. The VO does kind of a play-by-play of the action then comments on the bizarre inclusion of a windmill

Action items to make your business better. #NABradioshow

Digital Best Practices
from Daniel Anstandig of

In a word: BRILLIANT

Brilliant actionable tips for local radio and others to make their digital presence more focused and able to work harder for them.  These are from Daniel Anstandig, President of McVay New Media, as presented at the NAB Radio Show in Philadelphia on Sept. 24, 2009.  Find him on Twitter @anstandig.  By far the best session at the show!

Year 1:
3-5% of broadcast revenue should be digital
7-10% of broadcast cume should be the amount of unique visitors your site receives
Your site should average about 3 Page Views per visitor

Year 2:
5-8% rev of broadcast revenue should be digital
10-15% of broadcast cume should be the amount of unique visitors your site receives
Your site should average about 5 Page Views per visitor

For every 400k in rev ur trying to generate u need one seller.

Daniel has re-written the job descriptions for everyone at your radio station so you can do your part in the digital revolution.  I plan to post them as soon as I receive them.

1. You HAVE to have an intuitive user interface
If your users don’t understand what it is that you want them to do on your site they won’t be coming back.
• To check your station’s site(s) go to: and

2. Enable new discovery
If new users can’t find your site you’ll be scratching your head wondering why your online audience isn’t growing as fast as it should be.
• Submit to social bookmarking sites like and
• Daniel also pointed to as a great example.

3. Instant gratification
Everything online is about instant gratification.  I want what I want and I want it now!!!
• Scrolling feature box is 60% more effective getting users to visit a second page on your local site.
• Also, Daniel pointed out that the ‘Listen Live’ button is more effective in the upper left portion of your homepage.

4. Adapt based on past use
This is an advanced technique that some stations can use to target ads (namely from Google) based on past data from users that visited their site.  Check out Google ad manager.  It’s free for goodness sake!

5. Emotional meaning
This is radio’s number one ‘ace in the hole’.  Radio connects to the listener in a way TV, print, out of home and even typical internet cannot do.  Your website should mirror that connection.

1. Off site links in same window. 
Any time you link off of your site make sure it opens in a new window.  All it takes is a target=”_blank” added to the HTML for the link.

2. Poor content. 
Well duh?  Of course, looking at several local station sites this may not be as obvious as one might think.

3. Outdated/irrelevant content. 
Daniel gave a great example of a station’s site that had school snow closings listed on the homepage.  The problem was that it was APRIL and hadn’t snowed in months.  C’mon radio!  Please, pay attention to the www.

4. Compatibility. 
If someone can’t properly view your site then what’s the point?  Check out to make sure it works correctly in a ton of different browsers (Firefox, IE, Opera, Chrome, and a bunch you’ve never heard of.

1. Leap from broadcasting to crowdcasting.
It ain’t about broadcasting to the masses anymore.  It’s about connecting to the ones that are really listening.

2. Databasing
McVay New Media suggests collecting these data fields for your email database: First Name, Last Name, Address, Date of Birth, Gender, Mobile Phone #, and a few targeted survey questions where the answers will add value to your stations.

3. Analytics
Subscribe to now.  They will monitor your traffic for you.
Subscribe to Google Analytics now.  It’s free and is almost always easier to use than the analytics tool your parent company has set up for you.

1. Embrace the show outside the show. 
What Daniel means by this, he explained, was that your talent, sales, management, promotions/marketing all have to buy into this whole internet thing.

2. One station he works with signs off each morning with, “we’re moving over to our Internet studio”.  Even if this content is pre-recorded it gives the sense of being live and sounds GREAT online.  Daniel also sited,, as a great example.

You HAVE to have a purpose and strategy when jumping into the digital realm.  Know where you want to go before you start your journey.  One to three word mission statement. E.g. Local active moms or affluent ski bunnies.  Haha

Other tidbits from
Reach (broadcast). Engage (web). Capture (listener).

Reach: use your own signal to promote your site/content.
Engage: make sure you engage and interest your audience on a continuous basis once they get to your site(s).
Capture: make sure you capture some data so you can message back to them to drive ratings and revenue.

Hope these help.  Get more from

WHICH HALF OBSERVATIONS: Dear Radio Industry, please do all of these and do all of these now!  If you do your part to raise Radio to the next level it will benefit everyone.  More traffic, more engagement, more ratings, , more revenue.

Get people buzzing about your brand! #NABradioshow

Presenter: Mark Hughes


  1. Push buttons (what do people talk about?)
    1. the Unusual
    2. the Outrageous
    3. the Taboo
    4. the Hilarious
    5. the Remarkable
    6. Secrets
  2. Capture media
    1. Types of Stories (STORIES ARE CONTENT!!)
      i.     David & Goliath
      Ben & Jerry’s did in 4 years what it should have taken 18.  They took on the giant Pilsbury corporation and drew attention to itself when Pilsbury threatened their common distributor that they would pull their business if the distributor trafficked Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.  B n J’s held a press conference, picketed Pilsbury and created a lot of BUZZ in the media.
      ii.    Unusual & Outrageous
      Half, Oregon was pursuaded to change it’s name to, Oregon by founder Mark Hughes.  Good Morning America did a story on the company the day it launched.  Mark had an offer from eBay 19 days later!!!)
      iii.   Controversy
      iv.   Celebrities
      v.     What’s Hot in the Media Already
      Bush’s Pretzel – Lay’s Potato Chips harnessed the power of what was already happening and inspired the country to “save the country, buy Lay’s instead of pretzels”
      Swiftboat Veteran’s harnessed the power of what was already going on in the market and lead George W to victory!
  3. Advertise for attention (Mark said to read his book 🙂
  4. Climb Buzz Everest (Mark said to read his book 🙂
  5. Demand Creativity
    Mark gave the example of how Heny Kissenger told his speech writer to re-write the first draft of his speech.  Upon submission of the second draft Henry remaked, “I guess I’ll read it now.”
  6. Police your Product
    1. Volkswagen example, “on car sign ‘Don’t buy a Volkswagen’.”  Volkswagen hadn’t been policing their own product and had a LOT of makeup work to do.

Audio stimulus stays in the brain 5x longer than a visual stimulus before it starts to fade.  Think the Jaws theme song and how it stuck with you for decades after you last heard it.

QUO VADIS?  Where are you going?

  1. You can: React to biggest communication revolution 2 gain audience.
    i.      Facebook – It only took 6 months for FB to gain 50 million users.
    ii.      iPod took 3 years
    iii.      Internet took 4 years
    iv.      TV took 13 years
    v.      Radio took 38 years
  2. You can also: React to advertising landscape 2 gain advertisers.
    1. Example given was to hold a press conference in your home market and announce “We are no longer selling ads to local advertisers!”  This is an overstatement meant to draw attention.

The most important thing to do is to TAKE ACTION in some way!!!!!
Do something that will create buzz for your station!!!

WHICH HALF OBSERVATIONS: It’s time for Radio to stop thinking of itself as Radio or Broadcasting or the first “social network”.  It’s time to get serious about building the brand of Radio and local market brands.  Create some BUZZ, TAKE ACTION and stop everything you’re doing that even resembles the good ole days!!

Death of the Pre-roll Video Declared!!

by me. How annoying is it to HAVE to watch a 30-second or 60-second ad BEFORE you get to see the content you clicked for!!!!!

Especially when I’m in a hurry, I don’t want to watch anything except the content I clicked for. Do you?

Now, I don’t mind banner ads on the page or a post-roll even. If its done smartly I think video ads are very powerful but they have to be:
1. relevant to me
2. non-intrusive
3. see rule #1 and #2

It’s Nascar Season Baby!

It’s time once again for the Great American Race, the Daytona 500!!

If you have a consumer product aimed at Men 25-54 Nascar is the place to be.
This half of your advertising is working. It’s almost guaranteed!

Nascar was made for corporate sponsorship. Unlike most other major sports without corporate sponsorship Nascar would NOT be possible. The fans love it, the drivers love it and the sponsors love it.

The fan base is some of the MOST BRAND LOYAL fans on the planet! They love their favorite drivers and everything that driver represents. Chevy vs. Ford. Coke vs. Pepsi. And everything in between.

Jeff Gordon = Chevy, Pepsi, DuPont Paint
Dale Jr. = Chevy, Coke, Budweiser (still), Amp energy drink
Jimmie Johnson = Chevy, Lowe’s
Tony Stewart = Chevy, Home Depot (still)
Bill Elliott = Ford, McDonald’s (still), Motorcraft

It’s some of the most expensive advertising you’ll ever do but done correctly it can also be the most effective ever. Each race is a 3 hour product placement commercial. Plus, all the sweepstakes, spot advertising and driver interaction makes it a 360 degree campaign sure to sell some product.

Now back to the race!

Michelob Pays You to Work Out

I just got home from the grocery story. While walking through the aisles I came across a display of Michelob Ultra beer. There was a hang tang around each of the 6-packs.

The headline was SAVE $50.
I stopped to find out how Michelob was gonna save ME money. Up to now beer has only cost me money. Well that and a few girlfriends and a lot of money on Tylenol.

It turned out that Michelob Ultra is offering to help pay your gym membership. Keeping with their branding that Ultra beer is better for you (health-wise) than other light beers like Coors Light, Bud Light, etc. Michelob has launched a new campaign to sell some beer by helping to keep you healthy.

Good job Michelob guys and gals!