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28 Nov

Tis the season of difference…

And so here we are… it is now, the season to be jolly. It’s that time of the year again when every radio commercial on air, one way or another, is all about CHRISTMAS. And why not? We all love getting in the festive mood (we were back in October to be fair).

But in amongst all the fun, frivolity and first mince pies of the season, there is a serious question to be asked when signing off radio advertising. And it’s this: “within all that Christmas clutter, how can you make your campaign stand out from the rest?”
Our mantra – and we’re not afraid to state the obvious – is to ‘dare to be different’.

It’s all too easy to cast a piece of Christmas music under a soft female warm VO. But that’s what everyone else is doing. And whilst that might be lovely and festive, it does nothing to make your campaign cut through. So try and come at it from a different angle.

If you are going to use a Christmas carol – do something different with it – play with the lyrics, change them altogether, change the ending, make the melody do something it’s not meant to do. If you’re going to base your campaign around a well know festive based story – play around with it – give the ending a twist, add a character that isn’t usually there, mix things up, add in something that doesn’t belong. Done well, it’ll have a real impact.

And if you’re going to use a typical Christmas character in your copy, do something unusual with them. We use a technique called “Spin It” when we’re brainstorming ideas. Turn the norm on its head. What if your festive role model really hated Christmas?! What if your lead character felt the complete opposite to Christmas than they should? What if Rudolph’s nose wasn’t red and he couldn’t fly?!

When you look at it from that viewpoint, you can put a different spin on a situation or story. There’s nothing quite like the element of surprise in a radio commercial to give it some real stand-out.

Also finally – don’t sell. At all. You don’t need to. If there is one time of the year that people are already in “buying mode”, it’s December. So rather than shouting as loudly as you can about Christmas offers, focus on the brand instead. Be engaging and warm with your message, give your listenrtr a feel good factor, make them feel good about your brand offering. They don’t need much encouragement to buy from you, they just need you to be front of mind.

And one final thought. We say “dare to be different”, so, creatively, you could just ignore Christmas altogether. When the vast majority of ads are focussing on the festivities, a campaign would no doubt stand out by NOT being based around Christmas. That’s not to say it can’t still be fun and warm and play on emotions, but a Christmas campaign that isn’t overtly about Christmas would give listeners’ ears a refreshing break.

So, yes, ti’s the season… ‘tis the season to be jolly well different.

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