For All Your [Fill-in-the-Blank] Needs

July 18, 2017
cli·ché (noun) – a phrase that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought Just for fun sometime, make a mental note of all the ads you encounter that contain these five words: “for all your __________ needs.”   Every time you hear or see that phrase, know that the copywriter […]

The Secret Behind Amazon’s “Retailer-Wrecking” Growth: Love

May 17, 2017
Time, Inc.’s Money Magazine reported last month that more than 80 million American households now subscribe to Amazon Prime. Let that number sink in: it represents approximately two-thirds of our nation’s population. Amazon Prime members pay $99 a year to get free 2-day shipping on their purchases plus immediate access to Amazon’s vast (and […]

Effective Advertising and the Law of Exclusion

March 15, 2017
Is your business defined principally by what-you-sell or what-you-do? Are these the things you talk about in your advertising? May I suggest that you are also defined by what you won’t do or sell, by what you exclude. The principle of exclusion conveys that you’ve drawn a line in the sand, […]

On Radio Anything’s Possible

January 11, 2017
It’s well established that sounds enter the brain faster than visuals, and the memory of those sounds fades more slowly.  Which is why, as Paul Harvey once pointed out, as a kid in the classroom, you could answer the teacher’s question, “What did I just say?” accurately, even though you’d been […]

Don’t U Make These Mistake’s

September 9, 2016
One of the advantages of working in radio is that the stuff we write is heard, not seen. If there are misspellings or punctuation errors in the script, you won’t notice them. But when our counterparts at Old Smudgy fail to catch similar errors in their articles and ads, they become fair game for self-appointed grammar […]

Don’t Use That Song in Your Commercial!

August 18, 2016
I was recently asked for a favor: to provide a short voice-over for a video intended for presentation at an upcoming trade show, in exchange for dinner and wine for four at a swanky restaurant, worth around $200-250. We live in a small town and the business owner was under a […]

Speaking of “Word-of-Mouth…”

July 31, 2016
“Word-of-mouth” is not advertising. It’s a personal recommendation. It starts with someone being deeply impressed by a product or service, so much so that when an opportunity arises, he or she tells another person about it. With this in mind, may I offer you a few recommendations of my own? For gentlemen who shave regularly, […]

Cremo of the Crop

May 24, 2016
Some time ago I heard Michael Savage reading a commercial for a men’s shaving product called Cremo and boy, did he sound excited. Now because I shave regularly and, like most guys, occasionally nick myself, his message caught my attention and the name of the product stuck in my mind. So later I’m walking down the […]

Please Text and Drive

May 17, 2016
That got your attention, didn’t it? But why did it grab you? Because it’s short and to-the-point. Because it’s the opposite of what you expect. Because it shocked you, if only a little. And that, of course, is the whole point. Until you come to the realization that its intended message […]

Low-cost and no-cost advertising for cash-strapped businesses

May 1, 2016
Recently a Google search on the question “How much should I budget for advertising?” yielded 106 million pages of answers. At the very top of the list was this article from Entrepreneur Magazine, in which the author (who happens to be one of my mentors) provides a sensible, specific, and […]
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