See You On The Radio: Passing “The Stare Test” – Radio Commercial Expert Tim Burt Explains


Most people are actively doing something else when they listen to the radio: driving, sitting at a desk working, cleaning the house, etc.

The radio is simply passive noise to fill a void with music. Sometimes talk.

My guess is that their attention level drops significantly when the commercials start playing.

But when they’re focused on your message like a horse with the blinders on, this is what I call “The Stare Test”.

What Is “The Stare Test”?

If you’re able to do the audience with a clear, concise message…and vocalize how you’re going to solve their problem and make their life better, something fascinating happens:

They’ll stop what they’re doing, and their eyes will fixate on something.


The Two Ways To Mesmerize

1) When your message speaks to that person.

They believe the voice coming out of the speakers is virtually reading their mind.


2) When your story is so captivating – even if the listener isn’t interested in your product or service – that they continue listening.

What Are They Doing?

Visualizing the images that your message is painting in their mind.

Their “internal movie” is playing out before their mind’s eye.

How Do You Capture Their Imagination?

As my good friend Blaine Parker recently reminded me: the confused mind never buys.

The key is a singular message that is clearly conveyed, and easily understood.

No “laundry lists” of numerous merchandise categories.

No multiple calls to action.

No confusing price points that are an audible blur.

Will Your Commercial Pass The Test?

Play your radio commercial for someone whom you think is your ideal customer.

If they can’t recall everything you’re trying to convey, your ad fails.

How To Fix Your Commercial: Step One

Strip away the cuteness, clever jargon, and simply say what you would tell your customer as if they were in front of you.

It really is that easy.

Stop trying to “entertain”, and just talk to your audience.

Do it clearly enough, and they’ll be able to see you on the radio.

About timburtmedia

30,000+ ads globally. Commercial Advertising Marketing - world-wide audio producer, voice-over talent, copywriter.
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