“Best Before”

Is your campaign fit for human consumption?

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 He growls, pointing a skeletal finger to a dish of out of date salmon mouse.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.

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Mark Gregory