Radio Advertising "Boring" Products or Services on the Radio

Stephanie Theisen
Last updated by Stephanie Theisen

The word boring is subjective. What’s boring to someone might not be regarded the same way by the next person. So, when it comes to how to brand a “boring” product or service on the radio, what should you do? Start by keeping this in mind, what matters to the listener and consumer who will need those products or services at some point? Whether dull or exciting, radio is here to help businesses connect with the community.

Creativity in Less Creative Industries

Radio Advertising "Boring" Products or Services on the Radio

When I think of a “boring” product or service, I think of the needs and obligations we have as people – and there’s usually not anything fun associated with them. Dentists, doctors, lawyers, and HVAC companies, to name a few! Currently, Leighton Media is partnering with those categories of businesses, and I know I speak for my team when I say, they actually are a lot of fun. They trust us and encourage us to think outside the box and to bring their brand to life. How do we accomplish that?

We truly get to know our clients, and we take time to learn their personalities – so we can pull that out within their campaigns. Knowing who they are, who the competition is, what they’re passionate about, what they hang their hat on, their goals … it’s all part of our branding strategy, no matter the industry or assumed “fun level." Every business has those particular things that make them shine, and stand out. How best can radio tell their story? How can we connect those businesses to the consumers in a way that’s not only engaging but authentic?

An Award-Winning Branding Strategy

Westside Liquor

When I sat down to write this post for the Leighton Media blog, I thought about the businesses and industries we’ve represented for so long and one particular story came to mind – one that has deep roots. Merely mentioning the names Super Sarah and Marky Markdown in Central Minnesota is going to be met with familiarity; it’s been nearly 15 years since Westside Liquor developed its radio characters to change the direction of their on-air advertising campaigns. Some can argue that liquor stores aren’t necessarily a boring concept to advertise, but again, that’s all subjective and can be portrayed as such in any context.

Since 2001, Leighton Media’s Julie Rohling has been Westside’s AE and when she met with Bob and Linda Feuling, Westside Liquors owners, for the first time, she was a little … brazen. Julie told Bob his brand’s radio advertising was less than stellar. She pointed out how his brand was doing essentially the same thing the rest of the beverage retailers were doing, focusing mostly on big-brand sale prices and promoted items, 60 seconds at a time. There’s no differentiation or thinking outside the box, and listeners weren’t being given the opportunity to place Westside in the coveted top-of-mind spot.

So what did Westside do? They stayed the course, placing their trust in Leighton Media and Julie as she crafted a fresh, down-to-earth radio campaign that would showcase the Feuling family and store employees. At a time when competitors were pushing price promotions, Westside’s new take on radio advertising not only garnered plenty of success across its chain of stores, it won Bob Feuling an award in MARKET WATCH for “Best Advertising Award,” an industry-based intelligence on wine, spirits, and beer in 2007. They continue to tell their brand story using dynamic characters and heartfelt messages on occasions that call for it, like events and holidays. There’s definitely nothing boring about that.

The same branding principles apply no matter the industry, whether bankruptcy or stores that just sell confetti (I made that part up, but tell me if you know if such a magical place exists!). Following the BrandsFormation system helps Leighton Media stay consistent and focused on our values. It’s a foolproof system that allows even the most “boring” of brands find success!


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