Reigniting my love affair with creating radio commercials

I have the privilege of being a guest speaker at Walt Jaschek‘s radio ad production course that he teaches through the Webster University School of Communications.

During my one-hour presentation, I’ll be sharing some of my all-time favorite radio commercials that I have produced through the years. Sad to say, there are no recent spots that I’ll be sharing. It’s not that I’ve lost my skill-set for creating radio commercials that stand out, get noticed and acted upon. I simply don’t have the client list that does broadcast advertising anymore.

And that’s a shame. Radio has always been one of my favorite modes of advertising. I’ve probably written and produced more than 200 radio commercials throughout my career. I’ve had the opportunity to create memorable spots for a wide variety of clients – here’s a short list …

The Missouri Division of Tourism; St. Louis Science Center, St. Louis Baseball Cardinals, Six Flags, AAA Insurance, Charter Communications, The Pasta House Company, Missouri Division of Highways Safety – I could go on and on but I won’t.

No matter what the client, service or product, I always sought to deliver their key message in some attention-getting, memorable way.

I’ve done a jingle or two. I’ve done humor. I’ve done drama. I’ve been hollered at by Peter Graves and Jack Buck – all in the pursuit of creating radio commercials that cut through, are memorable and that get the cash register or the phone to ring.

Creating great radio commercials involves the ultimate theater of the mind. Through words, sound effects, music and the talent you choose you can paint a picture in someone’s head and if you do it right, plant a seed as well that gets that person to act.

Going through the radio reel that exists on my website as well as raiding my archives made me realize just how much I miss both writing and producing radio spots. It’s a talent I have that has gone untapped for too long.

I wish there were some car dealer out there or local retailer who wants to reach a very targeted audience and knows they could be doing better with their radio efforts. Maybe there’s a new product or service that needs launching. Maybe a local golf course is tired of seeing their number of players continue to go down. Whoever, whatever, I could virtually guarantee that I could do a better job than anything they’ve ever done before.

I just need someone to pick up the phone and call me.

This operator is standing by.

My problems are so much smaller

Yesterday was not one of my better days.

Everyone has them. For me, the creative juices just weren’t flowing. And I definitely needed them to be literally oozing out of me. It was a really windy day – even from my basement office I could hear the wind whipping around. At one point, there must have been a power surge or something – everything shut down, including my mac. I figured that must have been a sign from above telling me to get out and do something else. So I went and worked out – oftentimes, while I’m working out, it frees my brain to solve some of the problems I’ve been kicking around. That didn’t seem to happen this time. Oh, well.

Upon my return, I went to check my email messages – my droid seems to have sizzled out on me and only randomly gives me messages. Sometimes, it gives me the same message five, six, seven times. If anyone remembers my post about my twitter disaster where I received more than 300 followers in a day’s time, I’m pretty sure that was the knockout punch that put my droid on the fritz. There are times now where it actually does some sort of an electronic crackling noise as it’s trying to process information. So I need a new means of mobile communication.

Anyway, when I went to check my emails, there were none and I realized the power surge knocked out our internet connection. This has happened before and we normally unplug the modem, reboot and all is good. Didn’t work this time.

So I called Charter Communications and tried to let the computer lady walk me through re-storing our internet connection. She failed. That was a first. So she said, I will switch you to a real human who can assist you (actually not, but she did switch me over to a real human – who either was handling the call from India or who happened to have an Indian accent and was working as a tech support for Charter somewhere here in the states.) I couldn’t understand him and I had to ask him to repeat himself repeatedly. He took me through the same exercise as the computer lady. Failure. So then he had me unplugging the router and plugging the modem into my mac. More failure. I was getting up and down, plugging and unplugging lines and believe it or not, pulled a leg muscle in the process (I think I had worked out too hard on the elliptical and all the up and down did something weird to my thigh muscle).

Eventually, we restored the internet connection by bypassing the router. I had been on the phone with my Indian friend for close to an hour. I was actually limping and felt like an idiot.

Then I went upstairs, and saw the news about how another tornado had ripped through a small town and shredded it. Five or six people died, many were injured and homes and businesses and a church that had been around for generations were all leveled. Today, they’re trying to pick up the pieces and figure out where to go next.

Me? I’m limping a bit but I think I’ll be just fine.

We take so many things for granted in life. Every day is a blessing, we just don’t always realize that.

Too bad we don’t. And when we think we’ve got problems, it’s important some times to stand back and realize they’re not even problems – they’re just minor setbacks in the ongoing game of life.

Count your blessings and enjoy your day!