One of my favourite Monty Python sketches is the final scene in “The Meaning Of Life”. The one where the insufferable twits attending a dinner party at a remote farmstead, discover “Death” knocking on the door – scythe in hand. “It’s a Mr Death everyone!.... I think he’s come about the hedge””, exclaims the hostess.
“I am Death! And you’re all… Dead!” He growls, pointing a skeletal finger to a dish of out of date salmon mouse.
Of course, there’s been a lot of talk recently regarding the proposed changes to the dates on food packaging - and with good reason. The amount of waste being caused by misunderstood labelling and overly cautious consumers is nothing short of a national disgrace. But on a recent research trip around the UK courtesy of Radio-Player, I found myself wondering if the ad industry should consider some form of regulation for ‘Use By’ dates on commercial campaigns too?
Whether it’s scheduling issues – like the radio ad for the sale at a Midlands furniture store crowing about how it all ‘Must End on Sunday the 14th’, being broadcast on Monday the 15th! Or the campaign for a motor dealer event in the South West, which lazily had just one ‘generic date ad’. Rather than taking advantage of radio’s immediacy - with ‘on today’ - ‘must end tomorrow’ and ‘must end today’ versions. Right through to the sheer tiredness of some of the creative concepts.
I know radio is a frequency medium, but I must have registered an O.T.H. easily in the 1,000’s on a number of ads. To the point where my brain just simply switches off to campaigns for which I’m very much target-market, and of which I was once creatively quite fond.
Don’t go past your sell-by.
For the best advice and creative input on how to get the most value and the least wastage from your next radio or audio campaign – talk to the specialists here at Get Carter Productions.