(I say “probably” because I’m sure there are worse shoe store commercials I haven’t heard yet.)
Enough teasing…lets unleash this advertising gem:
- Who was the woman being interviewed?
- What magazine is she representing?
- What is her professional title with the magazine?
- What kind of shoes were they promoting?
- What was the name of the shoe store?
- What are their locations?
You probably listened to that commercial intently with little, or no distractions. If you couldn’t answer more than two questions after one listen, you’re not alone. I have played this ad for dozens of people who couldn’t give me more than two correct answers.
This is the type of commercial that makes a client say “radio doesn’t work”. Ugh (or “Uggs” in this case).
The one item that everyone recalls: “Uggs”. Less than half of those quizzed can name the advertiser. Based upon those stats, I would think this was a commercial for Uggs. Not the fact that a particular store is promoting they sell that brand.
The setup in the first four seconds is irrelevant.
- “Fashion First” magazine is fictitious. However, there is a fashion show of that name held in Seattle (but not affiliated with this particular business).
- Therefore, there can be no “April Faulkner, Editor” from that “magazine”. (I’m sure April exists, but most likely not on this commercial).
Both of these items add no value, and are lies. Yet, advertisers still wonder why most consumers don’t trust advertising.
Then we start the laundry list of garbage: tall boots, flat boots, clogs, slippers. April just loves her some clogs to go from Summer into Fall (who cares what “April” likes?).
Fatal flaw #1 occurs at the :13 mark. “Where can our listeners find these Uggs?” If advertising is one-to-one communication, this ad fails miserably. Regardless if it’s an “interview”, there are better ways to say this line.
- “What store has all the Uggs?”
- “These great Uggs are available where?”
You get the idea. Remove the idea of vague generality (i.e. “our listeners”).
FINALLY, THE “CORE” IS REVEALED
Here’s the one bright moment of this spot, and I’ll bet the copywriter didn’t realize they had stumbled upon the most important thing. It happens at :15.
“EJ’s has all the latest Ugg styles in all the latest colors“.
That is the essence of this radio commercial. Unfortunately, it’s literally buried halfway through in a three-second passage that goes by so quickly it barely registers in the brain.
This ad should have been centered around that from the start.
Fatal Flaw #2 follows immediately:
“You heard her ladies….”. Again, one-to-one communication. Ditch the generalities.
Then the rapid-fire locations: “on Olive in U-City just east of I-170, and in Crestwood on Watson just west of Sappington.” As with the most important line mentioned above, this goes by so quickly it’s hard to register exactly where the locations are.
Instead of talking so fast the line becomes unintelligible, try “find your nearest EJ’s online at (website URL)” . So what if there are only two locations. You’ll drive web traffic as an added bonus.
BEFORE YOU BURY THIS IN A SHOE BOX…
The last line is cute, and speaks to women: “Go on, have too many shoes”. Nice way to wrap it up. Unfortunately, 90% of this radio commercial misses the mark. Badly.
Does this ad psychologically alter your buying pattern if you want to buy “Uggs”?
Didn’t think so.
**COMING THURSDAY 6/30/11** In the second part of this series, I’ll play the audio of the commercial I would have written for this client. In fact, you’re more than welcome to use it for a shoe store in your area.