Everything you need to know about instore commercials

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Most dedicated instore music suppliers offer the possibility to have your own commercials playing in your retail venue(s). So the question is should you? And if so, how does it all work? In this article I will try to shed some light on the common questions regarding instore audio advertising.

First, let’s clarify that we are talking about YOUR commercials. A classic gaffe in retail is a shop using broadcast radio as background music and a competitor’s commercial is aired. Obviously the last thing you want is for your visitors to be informed about a special offer across the street!

If you have a dedicated instore music channel playing rather than radio, commercials suddenly become quite interesting though. You can send messages directly to your visitors. You can inform them about special promotions or services you offer. And the great thing is that they are already in your shop, so to act upon your offering requires very little effort on their side.

Combine this fact with the much lower costs compared to radio advertising and you have a real winner when it comes to return on investment.

Lower costs you say?

The costs of any commercial exist of two components. The production costs (hiring a voice actor, studio time, engineer, post-production and rights clearance for music should you choose to add any) and the costs of the medium (radio airtime). When broadcasting via satellite you will probably be charged for the used bandwidth as well.

With instore commercials you are the medium. So what’s left is the fee for production and scheduling and you are up and running.

At Mood Media (let’s keep it clear: my employer) the whole process is taken care of, from recording to scheduling. Basically a retailer sends the texts of the commercials he or she desires and a schedule (for instance, the first week of february every 15 minutes) and Mood takes care of everything else.

Since the commercials are playing via your own closed system you are highly flexible. You can have multiple campaigns running side by side, promoting oranges twice every hour and bread four times for instance. Or you could communicate your weekly promotions with new commercials every week.

Playing commercials allows for yet another little bit of sonic branding. One could choose to add a sound logo, a musical background or a specific voice.

Most major retailers have such a specific voice related to them. It is not uncommon for a voice actor to be reserved to one client only so his or her voice is associated with that specific brand. The effect is instant recognition, especially when the voice is consequently used across different media such as instore, radio and television. I will address the process of choosing such a matching voice in a future article.

All in all it is definitely worth your while to take a look at the possibilities of instore commercials. It is definitely not for everyone, but could really boost sales if implemented carefully.

Thomas van Straaten
Instore Media Consultant 

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