Monday Memo: Repeat After Me

By Holland Cooke


BLOCK ISLAND, RI — The Redfin TV ad ends: “Sell for more than the home next door.” Write local retailers’ commercial copy that communicates a consumer benefit that succinctly – and repeat it and repeat it — and your clients will renew.
QUICK QUIZ, from the auto insurance battle-royal:

Fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.”

Geico…slugging-it-out with…

“You only pay for what you need.”

Liberty, Liberty, LIB-erty, LIB-erty…not to be confused with…

“We are Farmers, dum-de-dum-dum, dum-dum-dum.”

Imagine THAT pitch. Did the agency actually bring jingle singers into Farmers’ C-suite conference room? Or did some modern-day Don Draper just sing it himself while flipping through his Powerpoint? Hey, he’s competing with an Emu. Meanwhile…

“Switch and Save.”

The Hartford’s succinct volley into this all-out air war.

QUICK…What’s Progressive’s slogan?

Same technique for station imaging.

Who ARE you, for their purposes? My client stations say “Your Only Local News Radio” enough that deaf people may be chanting it.

War story, 1984: I’m negotiating my hire to program WTOP, Washington. Among deal points: “I want to do focus groups.” A curious GM asked, “What’ll that cost?” I told him, “It depends on the size of the room behind the mirror. Numerator is how big our on-air staff is; denominator is how many chairs there are. Everyone needs to experience this.”

Amazed by what we heard – and didn’t – about even such an established radio brand, our discussion afterward ended up closing a nearby bar. That very next day, our voices sounded newly confident and helpful and proud and reassuring when they said “…where you get the Top News…instantly.”

What’s in YOUR wallet?

Holland Cooke is author of the E-book “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available exclusively from Talkers books and “Spot-On: Commercial Copy Points That Earned The Benjamins,” a FREE download here. HC is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. Follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke