Radio Ads and Promos – Avoiding the Clichés
I’m sure that many of us have been guilty of using them in a script at one time or another.
No? Are you sure? Not even the time when you were given that S&P brief at 4.30pm on a Friday for a “garden tool winning weekend”?
There are loads of annoying clichés used in radio ads and promos. I know, so many of you told me when I asked on Twitter earlier this week (@alistairmiskin)
So… To celebrate the fact that they annoy the heck out of you (See what I did there?), here are YOUR suggestions for some of most irritating ones heard in radio commercials and promo trails.
- “To celebrate the launch of…”
- “Calling all (insert demographic)“
- (you could win) “Cold… Hard… Cash”
- “That’s Right” (that’s right, only 9.99)
- “(Ample) Free Parking”
- “What’s that number again?”
- Two people talking to each other
- Two people talking about a BOGOF (Buy one get one free) deal and one of them thinking the other is being rude to them
- Using record scratches
- Using drones
- “*radio station* has teamed up with *company*“
- “Now is the time…”
- “For all of your _____ needs”
- “They won’t last long”
- “Savings throughout the store”
- “The sale you’ve been waiting for!”
- Starting an ad with a question
- “Your chance to win it” / “Chance to win”
- “A family run business”
- “Over 20 years experience”
- “Free car parking and face painting”
- “Open Bank Holiday Monday”
- “Fred Bloggs’ garage… Keeping you on the right road”
- “Get down to (insert club) for the biggest and best night in (insert place)“
- Weather sponsorship tag line: ”Whatever the weather”
- “No 1 for….”
- “We’re bringing you…”
- “Open 7 days, including Sundays”
- “Up for grabs”
- “Goody bags”
- “We’re proud to announce…”
- Anything described as “exciting”
I feel sorry for the voiceovers who probably have to read many of these day in, day out. What I would say though is that I never personally considered some of the above as clichés, but hey, they’re your suggestions.
If you’re rushed for time or have hit a creative wall it’s all too easy to reach out for a worn-out phrase or concept. My belief is that it’s probably best to walk away, do something else and come back to the script with fresh eyes.
Right… It’s time for you to cleanse yourself of the tired, the repeated and oft used phrases. Leave your suggestions for clichés below and I’ll update the article with your comments.
Remember, it’s only a bit of fun, so no naming and shaming of specific ads or stations!
Thanks to @ChrisSigsworth @codoherty @KarlSvenson @aldupres @lisamccormick @ellisstuart @rickilee @johnfoster257 @dicannell Michelle Dignan, Matthew Lomax, Brian Place and so many more for their help via twitter #radiocliches and Facebook.
PS – I know this blog is supposed to be about production, but I had so much fun with this I’m thinking of doing one on presenter clichés. If you have any suggestions please leave them below, thanks!
Alistair is a radio producer and sound effects composer. More details here.