It's happened!

That special day that I've been waiting for. For 7 years, 320 days, 8 hours and 42 minutes to be precise.

On the school run this morning, my 8 year old daughter actually enagaged with a radio advert.

One minute she was gazing out the window at the sloppy wet road and the shiny red brakelights of tail to tail traffic; and the next, she had a grin plastered across her face and was totally, i mean TOTALLY engaged with a radio advert.

I couldn't be more proud. I am a certified radio geek. I love it. Great radio whips me up into such a state of excitement it is  quite embarassing for anyone around me at the time. My in-car consumption varies from Radio 4 and Classic FM, to BBC Radio 2, a bit of Talksport, some of the Absolutes, an occasional Smooth and every local station along the dial. On the school run, I am usually asked to 'put a song on', so whoever has the catchiest tune on at the time wins.

This morning we happened to be listening to Wave 105, and somewhere between half past 8 and 8:45, we hit an ad break. Normally (and sadly) my daughter will ask for me to change the station, but if I don't, she will either regale me with stories of who did what in the classroom yesterday or enjoy that luxury of the non-driver - stare out of the window with a head full of thoughts until the next song.

In this ad break however, there was a brilliant advert for Holiday Inn Express. It was done in the style of an art critic describing the 'artwork' of a 4 year old (I think) who rather than eating his dinner, had smeared his sauce into the table-cloth, and decorated it with peas. The general message was, 'we're kid-friendly and don't care if your little ones wreck our linen and make a mess of the restaurant'.

For some reason, I glanced into the rear view mirror and she was grinning like the Cheshire cat. I said, "It was good wasn't it?" and she laughed and agreed. I half-expected a 'Can we go to the Holiday Inn for dinner?' but it didn't come.

The ad struck a chord with me, because we've taken her to restaurants from a young age, and she's good at it. But I've always been very conscious of how she behaves herself in public and her table manners so to hear a restuarant say, "we don't care - bring your dirty little tikes to us!" was totally relevant to me.

And for her, she laughed at the young boy who was being 'naughty' and making a mess of the tablecloth. She thought it was funny that not only was it okay, but the man on the advert was actually praising how WELL it had been done! It was funny.

When I tried to find out the agency who created it (see - geek!) I came across some blogs about the current Holiday Inn Express campaign which was launched in September this year and wasn't very well received by the advertising industry. I was quite surprised given how on the nail this radio advert is. My mum actually told me about a TV ad she'd seen a few months ago about your REAL life and your DIGITAl life (we had a private snigger because that describes an uncomfortable amount of acquaintances who have very disparate real and digital lives!). Only turns out that that is also a HI Express advert, by the same agency. So to reach and connect with 2 out of my 5 immediate family members plus me with just one viewing/hearing ain't bad going!

Anyway. Back to this morning. The reason that advert had my daughter totally hooked, was the relevancy. A key buzzword in online marketing, especially PPC, but often overlooked in traditional media.

Begin with your audience in mind is our golden rule of scriptwriting. Who are you talking to? Be specific. Very specific.

In this case, it was an audience of 2 - a 38 year old mum, with a 7 (nearly 8) year old sat in the back seat of a Nissan X-Trail on the A27 on a grey and wet Monday, late for school.

And for me, it was a proud moment!




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