Wanted: Shorter Stop Sets; Better Creative

In a recent blog post from Tracy Johnson, Principal at Tracy Johnson Media Group, he shared his view of the current state of the radio commercial and creative landscape; and how changes are needed ASAP to adapt to today’s customer expectations and media environment.

The origin of 107.7 The End’s transition to the #2MinutePromise was taken from a number of studies, surveys and lab groups of multiple key consumer demos; but in particular the Millennial listener. Here’s a couple that fed into the decision making process to shift the shape of commercial breaks for us:

  • In an Edison Research study; With a choice between more (but shorter) commercial breaks or, fewer, longer stop sets, a majority went for shorter, more frequent breaks
  • In a Jacobs Media survey; listeners were asked why are they listening less to their radio station. 45% Said Too Many Commercials    

Consumers are aware though that commercials make the media and entertainment go ‘round. As Tracy goes on to share in his blog post, “Listeners know we have to play some (commercials). They accept that. They’re actually quite forgiving. Even millennials. But do the commercials have to be so painful? Do the stop sets have to be so long? Does every station have to break at the same time? It’s time to fix the commercial problems.”  

Ok, so enough moaning and groaning. We’re solution oriented! Some simple questions to ask as you produce your commercials. Are you finding the right balance of informing, educating, and entertaining in a meaningful way; or angling to force your product through their ear drums, by hook or by crook? Ask yourself; is what you’re sharing adding value. Are you shilling or storytelling? Look, you’re not going to be something to everyone; we know that product and service lifecycles mean that your message won’t resonate sometimes because the aperture for that message is simply not open right then and there. But we can do better.

What’s good for listeners and advertisers alike is what adaptations like The End’s 2 Minute Promise delivers – less clutter, more share of voice, more share of mind… more impact