Monday, August 23, 2010

Audioboo - a powerful new tool for radio stations and advertisers

Imagine your restaurant client talking into his iPhone or Android: "Hey, everybody. For the next two hours, buy any burger, fries and soft drink at regular price and get a second burger FREE! That's just for our Facebook friends and only until 2 pm today at Burger Barn."

Sixty seconds later, his audio "coupon" appears on his Facebook page. All his Facebook friends have to do is click PLAY and they get to hear his message, just as he recorded it.

Welcome to Audioboo, a new service from the U.K. that is about to explode all over the Internet.

Did I mention it's FREE?

You need to open an Audioboo account now. Trust me.

You need to introduce your advertisers to Audioboo. Show them how to integrate their on-air and online radio advertising with their social media. Show them how to make Audioboo coupons. They're going to learn this eventually anyway, might as well be now - and from you!

This is positively HUGE for radio stations, radio producers, anyone who uses audio, whether for business, socializing, or just for fun.

Audio content (in a variety of standard formats) can be uploaded via iPhone or Android, or from any Internet-connected personal computer with a microphone and sound card, and you can upload pre-recorded material as well.

Want to share your latest radio commercials with the world? Audioboo them.

Want to extend your clients' radio buys on social networks? Audioboo them.

Want to sing "Happy Birthday" to a Facebook friend. Yup.

Honestly, the implications are staggering - at least to this 38-year radio ad guy.

Man, Tony Schwartz should have lived to see this day!

Go get your Audioboo account now. You'll thank me for suggesting it. All I ask in return is that you come back and share how you're using it, OK?

Here's the link:

Thanks to my friend Doug Zanger for turning me on to Audioboo. (And for bringing my Whispering Hills radio spots to life with his great interpretative skills and voice!)


Monday, August 09, 2010

Who's Your Darci?

Darci the bank teller caught me off guard.

"I want to do a radio commercial. I want to be on the radio," she said.

"Really." I replied.

"Yeah, I want to do a spot for our new CD. I'd be good at it!"

In the short time Darci had been working at the bank she'd become a favorite with her customers, myself included. Her quirky repartee was equally amusing and endearing; people rarely left her window without smiling or chuckling.

Why not? I thought. The bank manager was a good client, and I knew he wouldn't object to the experiment. If it worked, he'd be glad to put it on the air. If not...well, no harm done.

"OK, sure. Let's give it a try." Darci was genuinely excited and said she had some ideas for the commercial. We scheduled a recording session, allowing ourselves plenty of time for improvisation. The result was this:


The bank manager liked it, authorized it for airplay, and for several weeks Darci became the new voice of the bank.

Fast forward a few years. Darci is now working full-time for the school district and I haven't seen her in ages. One day I get a call from my CPA, for whom I've done some advertising during tax season. She tells me that she's purchasing a local video store, a mom-and-pop operation that's been a steady advertising client of mine for years, under a couple of different owners, and she wants to relaunch the store with an advertising blitz featuring a new spokesman—Darci!

Turns out Darci is her neighbor and friend. And she thinks Darci's unique personality and voice are perfect for the new campaign.

So, once again Darci and I are collaborating together in the recording studio, playing with different ideas and angles. Before long, this spot has more or less written itself:


From Day One it generates comments from listeners and customers who think Darci's a hoot. And we have the makings of a brand new schtick for the client. A few weeks later, a second spot follows. Then a third. And a fourth. Over the next several years, Darci records at least thirteen different commercials, including this one, a finalist in the 2005 Radio-Mercury Awards competition:


Since then, Darci has done other work for me. I've hired her to voice some of our syndicated features for GBS, and I've had clients hire her to do their commercials. Although she's had no formal training as either an actress or producer, she's proven capable of doing terrific work.

So, I consider myself fortunate to have been standing in line at the bank the day Darci had the itch to "be on the radio." And I sometimes wonder, who else might be out there — waiting tables, running a cash register, answering phones or reading to kids at the public library — waiting to be discovered and recruited for radio advertising work.

Might there not be someone in your market, too - someone with whom you interact regularly, just waiting to become your Darci?