October 2006 - Radio Dial

Anti-Wrinkle Radio Campaigns

By Bill Sullivan

For those of you interested in marketing your beauty products on-air, you should know that it isn’t just about selling anti-wrinkle products on the radio. And it’s not just about direct response advertising of supplementary-type products. It’s also about a highly specialized promotional style my company and I have employed over the years. We call it personal endorsement spot radio (PESR). Following are the key points to our PESR campaigns, which have been working effectively for leading makers of high quality supplementary products.

To begin with, a PESR campaign can only work if the product really works. The campaign starts by inviting a popular radio personality to try the product. When he or she believes the product delivers what it promises, we contract with that individual to do on-the-air testimonials based on commercial scripts we custom-write.

We’ve learned from hard experience that a PESR script must be delivered by friendly, believable personalities, not by hard-sell voices. We’ve learned that radio listeners are more likely to respond to a call to action if a message is presented as valuable, helpful information by a show’s host. Properly executed, the bond between the host and the listeners can build huge product loyalty.

Regardless of how good the product or how effective the personality, your message should include a special offer of some kind to encourage and build maximum response. Another key factor to successful PESR campaigns, yet often overlooked, is strategic selection of stations and programming. Choose stations and programs with formats and audience demographics that match your products as closely as possible. Radio listeners tend to stay with a station that provides them with programming that speaks to their particular interests.

Still, another important component to successful PESR is buying the right program at the right price. A common mistake is to believe you must buy only drive time or top-rated, and more expensive, daytime shows. Often you can reach a greater number of listeners on fringe times (overnights, weekends, etc.) and at a lower average cost per lead/sale. Take advantage of the benefits of remnant inventory purchases-buying unsold time at the end of the day can lead to significant savings. Check with experienced radio-time buyers to be sure.

In fact, you can increase your chances of success with PESR by working with experienced radio experts for all areas of your campaign, from the right personality to scripts with impact, to cost-effective media buys-even to building effective e-commerce websites. It takes years to learn PESR know-how. Experts cannot only save you time and help you avoid costly mistakes, but also assure you of a successful PESR campaign.

Bill Sullivan is president of William Sullivan Advertising, a full-service advertising agency that specializes in direct response radio. He can be reached at (973) 379-8555, or via e-mail at [email protected].


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