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3 Reasons Your Radio Ads Are Terrible—And Why They Don't Have to Be

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"Come on down!" os a typical call to action for an automotive dealership spot on local radio—and the unfortunate truth is that most potential buyers have already tuned out at this point. In a perfect world, advertising would simply need to present information to consumers in a clear and concise way, but the reality isn't so neat. Instead, advertising needs to vie with the ten thousand other distractions that every potential customer faces while still making your brand and message clear. Unfortunately, many dealership ads fail utterly at this goal. These three reasons why will help you to understand how your ads can avoid this fate.

1. Formulaic Ads Are Indistinguishable from One Another

Try to imagine the platonic ideal of a dealership's radio ad. You're probably imagining some customer testimonials or perhaps a heartfelt statement from the dealership's owner. While there's nothing fundamentally wrong with this straightforward and honest approach, it fails to distinguish itself from any other dealership's advertisement. Your potential customers only have a small portion of their attention to spare for your ad, so it is vitally important that it not blend in with every other advertisement they've heard in the last five minutes.

2. Weak Calls to Action Don't Work

The call to action is the most important part of any advertisement, but a common mistake is assuming that the call itself is all that's required. If "Come on down!" or "Check out our sales!" is the best you can do, then you have a serious problem on your hands. Crafting a proper call to action isn't just about being clever, it's about closing the deal. Your would-be car buyer has listened to your entire ad and now it's time to convince them to act. If you've created a pitch that is creative and unique (remember – don't be formulaic!), then your final call to action should fall naturally from the rest of the ad.

3. Information Overload Always Fails

An average radio spot is typically no more than 60 seconds and some can be as short as 30 seconds. This relatively brief period of time makes many amateur advertisers feel as though they need to cram as much into that time as possible in order to maximize the value of their ad buy. This is never effective. Providing listeners with too much information simply overwhelms them and makes it too easy to tune out the ad entirely. Instead, your advertisements should be as laser-focused as possible. If the ad is for a sale, then the entirety of the ad should focus on the sale. If the ad is about a particular model of car, then focus on extolling the virtues of that model. The less information you present, the more likely your listeners are to actually absorb it.

Creating Ads that Stand Out and Generate Money

Although these are three of the most common offenses of many automotive radio spots, there are plenty more to beware of. Next time you are listening to the radio, listen closely to your competitor's ads. Rather than looking for aspects to copy, pay attention to their similarities and what doesn't seem to work. When in doubt, working with services like Jaguar Creative Audio Auto and learn more about creating better ads for your services and products.