Daisy Allen is a Promotions Coordinator, and announcer (with occasional relief work in commercial scheduling and copywriting) at West Coast Radio where I work during the daylight hours.
Daisy, what was the biggest and best response from an ad you wrote?
“Hearing people quote the ad back at the business staff on a regular basis was a really great feeling. But being able to assist the sales teams I’ve worked adjacent to, providing scripts that seal the deal on major contracts is huge.
What was ‘THE’ best script that didn’t get approved?
“Like every copywriter, I believe in everything I write and submit for clients…but it’s not always so well received by clients. I’ve written creative ads with “Donald Trump” VOs which were nixed (still have a soft spot for these). But my favourite was promoting a unique used car yard’s point of difference: where you could attend [the location] and not be immediately set upon by sales guys. It was relating used car salesman to seagulls flocking (think: ‘mine! Mine mine!’ from Nemo) and it wasn’t well-received. The brief was asking for humour and self-awareness of used car salesmen… maybe it was too self-aware?…still think it’s kind of funny.”
The best advice you ever got about writing ads was…
“Have patience and put yourself in their (clients’) shoes. I went from writing for agencies and large companies / franchises at the start of my career, to a provincial market, with so many ‘mum and dad’ businesses. I believed in what I wrote, and it was my job, so why couldn’t they just trust me to do it?!? I had a savvy rep point out to me that creativity can be scary, and advertising is both a risk and an investment, and trust sometimes had to be earned. I needed to sell my ads to the clients as much as my ads needed to sell the client to our listeners. I needed to understand their needs, and soothe any hesitations from protective business owners. It’s helped me to rarely take rejection personally.”
The best mentor I ever had was…
First: Rachel [Edmondson], she’s so incredibly creative, and helped me go from student radio station CSA writer to a commercial copywriter at a major metro station. I don’t think I ever properly thanked her, so if you’re reading this Rach, THANK YOU.
Second: is Earl [Pilkington]. Taught me to always always be learning and watching/reading/listening to new things….He’s also perfected the art of passive-aggressive meme-usage in sales team memos. [Side Note: Just as Daisy sent this Earl was in the process of doing EXACTLY that! – Scary stuff!?!]
Paint us a picture of the ‘best’ client you have ever had…
“I’ve been lucky enough to have several throughout the years. A pool shop locally has been really eager to go creative, and they love a story arc, which has resulted in some of my favourite work.”
What does “Theatre of the mind” mean to you?
“Theatre of the mind” is a phrase that feels ultra-wanky and a bit old-school. But I can also agree it has its merits. I love that you can still follow the age-old adage of ‘show, don’t tell’ on an audio-only medium, you just need to be creative and blessed with a great producer.
What was/is the best tool you have ever used as a copywriter?
“A GOOD BRIEF. Honestly. The most insulting thing for copywriters and clients alike, is to receive a brief that contains “generic, please” and no other info. What does that even mean? I have received these at every station I have worked for, and it sucks. A sales rep who understands their clients’ needs can effectively relay that to a copywriter, which enables us to nail the script. Briefs that are…well, brief, take so much back and forth, and hinder success.
My most hated ‘radio cliché’ is… what?
“CONVERSATION ADS. Please, for the love of god, NO MORE. Nobody casually recite a business’s services, prices, phone number and website in conversation with a friend…and then repeats it. Even ironically, they’re rarely good.”
What was the weirdest thing you ever experienced in Radio?
“The whole industry is pretty weird. It’s full of weird, passionate people. I couldn’t offer any specifics. cough, Earl, cough!”
I got into radio by…
“A bit weird to admit, I picked my copywriting career out of a TAFE (technical tertiary colleges in Australia) book listing careers and their corresponding courses. Radio Broadcasting was the only TAFE course that encompassed copywriting, so off 17-year-old me went…and here I am, 10 years later.”
Would you recommend Radio as an industry to a 16-year-old you?
“Absolutely! I actually have no idea what I would have done instead.”