Monday Memo: Improving Results from Endorsement Spots

By Holland Cooke


BLOCK ISLAND, RI — The news/talk stations I work with make big money doing what talk radio does best: cutting through mental clutter, with live endorsement spots delivered by familiar local on-air personalities.

OOPS.  Do your endorsement spots say “I haven’t sold you yet?”

Often, these are long-standing advertiser relationships. Two cautions:

  • If you’ve been touting an advertiser for years, DON’T say so. “For years, I’ve been telling you about [name of business]” = “…and I haven’t sold you yet, have I?”  Instead…
  • Keep the pitch fresh, and CUSTOMER-centric; rather than talking about a store. In one spot I heard, for a sewing supply retailer, the well-intentioned host sounded awestruck as he recited the store’s inventory (“over fifteen hundred bolts of fabric!”).  That’s the store’s problem.  Instead, solve the listener’s problem: “Imagine the money you could save if you made all your kids’ back-to-school clothes this year?  [advertiser] will give you free lessons!”

Avoid saying…

  • “MY GOOD FRIENDS AT [name of business],” which sounds real phony.
  • “All-new:” Say “new,” if it IS new, AND if newness is a listener benefit (and say why).
  • “…AND MUCH MORE” means nothing. Weed-out stuff like this, and you’ll give copy more time to breathe.
  • “Needs,” as in: “FOR ALL YOUR [product category] NEEDS” (the ultimate “BLAH, BLAH, BLAH”). Instead?  Either:
  1. Say something more-specific, a benefit statement. Or…say nothing!
  2. Too many spots are over-written, causing the announcer to rush. Let copy breathe.

For more, including copy points that get results, see my video “Make Money with Endorsement Spots,” when you click “For Sales” at

Holland Cooke is author of the E-book “Spot-On: Commercial Copy Points That Earned The Benjamins,” a FREE download here; and“Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available from Talkers books (click the banner on this page), and. HC is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet.  And he hosts “The Big Picture” TV show Friday nights at 7ET on RT America.  Follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke