Radio commercials, in a way, wrote my paycheck over the years. That’s how radio stations make money. In turn, I wrote a lot of commercials.
Hundreds of them. As a result, I tend to listen more critically than others might. Today, I hear so many commercials that still use the same hackneyed, passive, trite expressions that I tried to discourage. “For all your (whatever) needs,” “Save as never before…” And, lines that make little sense, like “Our mattresses guarantee you a lifetime of temporary relief. . . ” “It’s our birthday but you get the presents . .” and so on. I’ve concluded that this will never change as long as there is radio “for all our listening needs.”
Then there are the “one of a kind” laughable lines which we probably won’t ever hear again. When I was program director at WISM in Madison, one of our top sales reps was J.D. Mackin. He had a big car dealer as a client, and the client was running a big contest. J.D. had the idea that, rather than announce the contest winner on the radio, it would increase traffic at the car dealer if they would announce it at the dealership. Hence was born the classic phrase, “Winner will be hung in the showroom on Monday.”
While at WISM I recorded all the commercials for Rennebohm Drug Stores. Their radio commercials were written by the General Manager, Bill Walker. I’m not sure why, but this was the only account he handled. At that time, Rennebohms had restaurants inside their stores and often featured lunch specials. My most memorable Rennebohm lunch special line was, “If you, or someone you know, likes liver. . .”
And folks in Tucson are continually scratching their heads trying to figure out what the furniture dealer means when he points out, “Where our low price is your priority…”
Seems to me it should be the other way around, “Where your low price, is our priority…” Oh, well. At least I can take comfort knowing they are there for all my furniture needs.