15 or 30 or 60 seconds can seem like a short amount of time to tell a complete story. But, you have an advantage. If your story’s compelling enough, the radio listener will suspend disbelief and allow you to C-O-N-T-R-O-L T-I-M-E!
Small bits of information in a radio commercial can act as “seeds,” each representing an extended period of time. So, in the space of a commercial, you can, with the help of the listener’s imaginations, have them experience something which would take several minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, even centuries.
Their imaginations and personal experiences will flesh out the story, and fill in the blanks.
For example, a sequence of sound effects can take your listener on a Hawaiian vacation: house door closes, footsteps, car doors, car starts, drives, stops, doors open, close, plane sounds in background, airport interior, PA announcements, plane taxis, takes off, airline attendant’s and pilot’s announcements, plane landing, airport sounds, Hawaiian music, surf. Aloha! Only fractions of a second are needed for each sound, all of which can overlap. Total time: about 20 seconds to represent a couple of days’ adventure in paradise.
Give your audience the experience of an entire sporting event, a concert, even someone’s life – with a voice that ages as they describe the phases of their life. You could compress a person’s education from kindergarten through graduate school, or have them remember all the relationships of their lives – told in tiny sound bites from their parents, teachers, coaches, first dates, spouses, and retirement buddies.
These concepts could work for insurance companies, financial services, schools, photographers, Mothers and Fathers Day promotions, health care advertisers and more.
Describe the life of a product – a car, a stereo, a piece of furniture or a home – with sounds taking us though the years, from its purchase, to young children growing up, to teenagers, to just a couple alone after the kids have left. There are great possibilities for emotional content.
How many of your clients could benefit from a time-based scenario? A few seconds is all the time you need to give your audience years of experience, and a desire to purchase.