It’s all very well having a script that answers the brief perfect, but great radio advertising isn’t as simple as that. It’s in the recording and the editing that the magic really happens. That’s when a good script becomes great radio. Here are 5 tips from Radiocentre (with a Little Help From Our Friends at GCRS) to think about during production stages to lift give your ad an give it that extra edge.
Although it’s hard to get the time for a full blown PPM on radio nowadays, it is crucial to ensure that you have a very thorough discussion around the scripts that are on the table. Raising any areas of uncertainty, ambiguity, suggestions for alternative lines etc. with your agency well in advance of your sound session will help keep focus on the day and make use of the time as efficient as possible. Ensure your account manager has a record of what’s been agreed and be sure everyone has the same expectations of the campaign. No-one wants a nasty surprise on the day.
Time. Your. Scripts
It’s very easy to overwrite a radio ad. You read in your head faster than you read out loud so sometimes this means that the scripts that arrive in studio are simply too long. Be sure you know how long you have – 40s, 30s, 20s, 10s and to time the scripts read them out loud and in character. Most scripts would benefit from a bit of breathing space.
Share your script with the sound engineer and the talent well in advance of the sound session
A sound engineer worth his salt will do his or her of homework before you get in the room. They will have ideas on treatment and suggestions to add. Having a proper bit of advance time will only enhance the outcome. Similarly, if your voice talent has been able to read through the script, they are more likely to be engaged and approach the read with enthusiasm and energy, bringing their own interpretation to the read. It’s often in the studio that the magic happens to make a great ad – and this is simply less likely to happen if it’s the first time anyone has seen the final script. And nothing is more stressful than getting amends signed and approved by Radiocentre Clearance at the eleventh hour.
Let the talent do their job
You’ve probably put a fair bit of thought into your talent choice. Particularly if it’s someone a bit famous. You will have agreed to a particular casting because they deliver a tone of voice that is right for your brand. If they are struggling with a line in studio or suggest something a bit different, embrace it. Chances are it will make them more comfortable and give a more authentic outcome.
Allow for a bit of extra play time in the budget
When Griff-Rhys Jones and Mel Smith recorded the famous Phirrips radio ad, legend has it that all they had was a whole afternoon at Angell Sound accompanied by a bottle of something Strong. While Radiocentre would not condone a recording session on the sauce, the fact that they had the luxury of time to experiment and improvise made for a funny and authentic (and award-winning) commercial.