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Sales Tip - Commercials Need Conflict

Life is full of conflict (No it's not!), yet most radio commercials have none. The characters in commercials usually agree with each other (Says who?).

Conflict will breathe life into your radio commercials and make them more "real." Conflicts don't have to be violent (They could be!).

They can be resolved completely or only partially by the end of the spot, maybe even introducing new ones (Hey, what're you lookin' at?). Conflict can take many forms. It can be two or more people in a relationship with differing views on the same subject (Meet my family.). One character can be the "believer" and another the skeptic (Prove it.). Radio listeners will automatically identify with the skeptic (maybe). As the believer tries to make a case, the skeptic keeps coming up with rational or even outrageous objections (I refuse to agree with you on Wednesdays.), providing an opportunity for humor (or not.).

You might just create a contrast between two different personalities: old pro and novice, teacher and student, conservative and liberal, traditionalist and contemporary, scientist and artist (agency and client). Sometimes the greater the difference in the point of view, the more interesting the commercial can be (Yeah, right.). It could even be the different personalities of a schizophrenic talking to each other, or the left brain arguing with the right brain...the possibilities are endless (Don't bet on it.).

Audiences will tire very quickly of a commercial where everyone agrees (Who says?), nothing is wrong, and the client is perfect. Don't be afraid of conflict in your commercials (Or, ignore all of the above).

Jeffrey Hedquist harnesses conflict for the advantage of radio advertisers everywhere at Hedquist Productions, Inc. Phone 641-472-6708. Got a question, challenge or comment about radio creative? Email jeffrey@hedquist.com or go to http://www.hedquist.com. (Or don't.).