Local Advertising 101

Imagine for a minute that you’re taking the car in for a brake job. Would you stand in the service bay and tell the mechanic how to do the work?  Alright, an electrician comes to the house. You go in the basement while he’s rewiring the circuit breakers and give him some pointers, right? Ok, how about this: you go out to dinner and join the chef in the kitchen and explain how to cook your meal.

No. Not unless you want him to spit in it while you’re not looking.

You would never do any of those things —so why is it that clients have no problem telling experienced producers and writers how to create advertising?

Most local TV spots are bad because the customers think they know more than the professionals who are there to help them. Then, once the Larry Tate Effect kicks in, what you get is some very bad advertising.

You know the spots. There are big sweeping pans of the store/restaurant/office, shots showing the front of the building or the sign, and people shaking hands (car dealers, insurance, real estate). Worst of all they are cluttered with too many ideas.

Don’t blame the people at the TV stations. All they usually get for being honest with a client is yelled at by some account executive or manager. They don’t make enough money to put up with that.

So here’s some advertising advice: if you hire someone to make a commercial, explain to them what makes your business special, accept that the spot should only be about one thing, and get out of the way.

I promise that you’ll get something more effective.

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