An Open Letter to the Creators of Radio Ads
Dear Radio Ad Creators:
I understand what you're up against. Given the limitations of your medium, you can't dazzle potential customers with memorable visuals. Your connection to only one sense means that it is easier for people to tune you out, to ignore your message. You have to work harder than television to put out a memorable ad. I get that.
However, you are way too fond of annoying conventions that alienate and frustrate your audience. Radio, as Ira Glass and Terri Gross are always reminding me, is a very intimate medium. So when you drop these horrible earbombs, it's as though a blind date suddenly vomited in my lap and then asked me for a kiss.
I beg you to elimate the following from your ads:
- Screams or screeches, particularly of the woman-in-distress variety.
- Useless and distracting repetition in a conversation between two people. No one talks like that.
- Coughing, sniffling, sneezing, snoring, lip-smacking, slurping or any other bodily noise. It's odd to me that farting and belching are out but snoring and lip-smacking, both far more irritating, are used frequently.
- High-pitched electronic warning sounds, particularly the droning REEP-REEP-REEP that the generic digital alarm clock makes. That sound makes me want to punch someone – preferably you.
- Dental drills. Think about this for a minute – no one likes going to the dentist. Why would you employ the number-one most feared and detest sound in your ad? Why? All it makes me do is turn off the radio as quickly as possible. After the first time, as soon as I know the sound is going to be in the ad, flip and you're gone. I don't even know what product you're flogging – that's how determinental the sound is to your ad.
I thank you in advance for your assistence in eradicating these vile sounds from my every day audio existence. I spend 8 hours a day listening to the radio – I buy stuff. But I'm not going to buy your stuff if your ad contains any of the above noises.