I’ve always found it distracting, comical and a little bit sad when car dealers use their radio ads to tell me that “They’re the #1 (auto brand) sales leader in (geography).” And then, just when I’m trying to figure out why they’re wasting valuable air time to tell me this, other car dealers – who aren’t #1 – make it a point to let me know that it’s their goal to become #1 and that they’re doing everything they can to be the #1 sales volume leader in my area.
One question: Who cares?
Certainly not your average new car buyer. He or she wants to know that you’re #1 in service. #1 in customer satisfaction. And #1 customer retention. Those are benefits to the car buyer, not chest-thumping, bragging rights best-boasted at a car dealer’s convention.
Hard-working, automotive salespeople have enough of a reputation without misguided adspeak piling onto their own, um, pile.
Guess who else plays this same game of skyward-pointed semantics: radio station salespeople. Many are management-trained to isolate and promote an obscure statistic where “They’re #1” rather than explain why their #5-rated station is a great value in a 30-station marketplace. Then they badmouth the competition, thinking that will help them close the sale.
Where on earth did we get this foam-finger mindset?
For the answer, like any good detective, you’ll want to follow the money. Who funds the media buy? The advertiser. So when the client says they want to crow that they’re number one, will a radio sales rep risk losing the sale by telling them they shouldn’t do that? How hard will an ad agency push back with egos and money on the line? How many sales reps and account executives actually feed this self-centered love fest by suggesting that advertisers promote their #1 status in the first place?
The net result of this index finger-wagging is that the public hears an advertising message that conveys information other than the sounds that will close a sale. (It might actually cost them a sale.)
Consider this. When a star athlete brags that they’re the best in the game, he or she loses more fans than they gain, while the humble champion who credits teammates earns loyalty and support that lasts a lifetime.
Remember that the next time you craft advertising copy. Focus on the customer’s needs and save the foam fingers for the football stadium.
The writers at The Radio Agency have written thousands of radio commercials for just about every product and service imaginable. Let us script your next campaign. Call us at (800) 969-AMFM.
Mark Lipsky is the President and CEO of The Radio Agency. Please follow The Radio Agency’s Blog “Sounding Board” by subscribing to the email or RSS links above.Visit our website TheRadioAgency.com