[pro tip] How To Sell In A Radio Commercial Via Storytelling – Expert Marketer Tim Burt Explains

First, listen to the commercial:

(note: if you’re not able to view the player on your device, click here to play it on the webpage)

Notice how easily you were invited into the picture? This is a one-minute commercial that doesn’t feel like it’s a minute.


Granted, this is a scenario that we all hope never happens to us. But that is the strength of the ad.

Do you know what you would do if you walked out of the barbecue place and your vehicle was gone?

If you don’t have OnStar…well…good luck.

This is an easy-to-follow tale of misfortune.

But notice how instead of listing a bunch of bullet points from a brochure, they sell you on how easy and fast it is to recover your vehicle should it get stolen?

The script-writer and narrator could have bored you with technical specifications, sales-speak, and automotive gibberish.

Instead, they took the best path: talking to the audience in easily relatable terms.


And what a problem this would be, yes?

Butif you have the OnStar app on your phone, a simple tap of a few icons connects you to help…to the most important problem in your life at that moment: getting your vehicle back.

A CORE RULE that I discuss relentlessly in my Marketing Intervention Seminars is: advertising solves problems. You’re selling the result of using that particular good, product, or service.

This commercial demonstrates that with devastating efficiency, and simplicity.


At the 19 second mark when the voice-over actor says, “A soothing woman says ‘no problem’,” I would have actually used a woman’s voice for that part. It would strengthen the element of realism in this commercial.

A very minor criticism, yes. But it doesn’t greatly detract from this commercial’s effectiveness.


There’s a reason this spot has made it into my “Good Commercial Hall Of Fame.”

It’s easy to follow, paints a fantastic picture of how to solve an otherwise horrible experience, and the audience is easily pulled into the scenario.

Grade: A+.

Tim Burt



About timburtmedia

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