I was on my way home from the airport the other night and heard an ad on the radio for a trampoline center here in the Capitol City. It was a typical, amateurish, poorly written and produced ad, but there was nothing noteworthy… until the end. The last line of the ad was “For all your jumping needs.” Funny, I didn’t realize I had ANY jumping needs, let alone enough to be described as “all”. It made me smile.
I smiled because it reminded me of when I was a young man working as a rungodo for a rock radio station in Birmingham. Rungodos were different than gofers in a very specific way. Gofers are told “Gofer some coffee,” or “Gofer some lunch,” where rungodos are told “Rungodo the set up for the remote tonight,” or “Rungodo the overnight on air shift,” or “Rungodo the copy writing for our new client’s commercial.”
Anyway, in my capacity at the station, I was often asked to help in the ad production process or go to an agency, production house, or client location to pick up ads. This involved getting the ad, reviewing the ad for time and content, and passing the ad on to internal traffic and production for placement on the air. My favorite tagline became “For all your ____ needs” and it was used almost exclusively by businesses who insisted on doing their own writing and production.
There were the mom and pop cellular stores with “For all your cellular phone needs,” and the quick lube and tune places with “For all your automotive needs,” and the local electronics stores with “For all your car audio needs” or “For all your home electronics needs” or “For all your personal computing needs.”
To make matters even more entertaining, the business owner often decided he or she should be the voiceover talent, as well. Now, this was not always entirely his or her fault; sometimes sales people would use flattery and the power of an ego to sell advertising schedules by saying things like “Wow, you have a great voice, you should totally do your own ads. And also, this will cost you less.”
It’s just bad. Every once in a while an ad will come along that is so over-the-top bad and amateurish that it gains sort of a cult following – like these guys. But those are rare, and unintentional. You shouldn’t plan for it.
Look, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. If whatever you do for a living is NOT some type of creative communication, you should stick with what it is you DO for a living. Pay a professional to help you communicate with your customers. It will pay off in the long run.