1. Don’t encourage clients to voice their own commercials – especially if they are just plain horrible – just for the sake of the sale. If an account executive is talented enough to sell commercial time, he should be talented enough to talk a client out of doing his own spot.
2. Commercials should never consist of just a voice reading copy over a music bed. I’m sorry, but that’s just not compelling enough.
3. Radio stations should consider hiring copywriters again – talented people who can create engaging 30 or 60 second theater of the mind commercials. Today, most commercials are written by sales people. Bless their hearts: they made the sale – don’t make them write the copy, too.
4. Radio stations should seek out Production Directors (the people in charge of overseeing the making of the commercials) who are not comfortable settling for mediocrity.
5. Production Directors should always insure the right commercial version is running in the right format. Some products, like Coke and Pepsi, for instance, create commercials designed for specific formats: Rock, R&B, Alternative, etc. I’ve heard R&B versions run on Alternative stations and vice versa. That’s lazy and a disservice to the listeners. Someone listening to a Classic Rock station is not much interested in hearing a hip-hop version of a Pepsi commercial.
6. Radio stations should never accept sub-standard production from advertising agencies. It is unbelievable what some smaller agencies pass off as radio-quality production. And worse: some radio stations don’t even question it.