AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerHow to Create Advertising for Pandora. It’s Not Radio.

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How to Create Advertising for Pandora. It’s Not Radio.

I just heard a car commercial on my “personalized” Pandora channel and it sounded wrong. So did the bank ad and the Rocket Mortgage ad. Portrait of highschool student in classroom

The copy was fine, the music was okay and the sound effects appropriate, but they all sounded like they didn’t know I was listening to Pandora. They sounded very fake, old-fashioned and inappropriate for the medium.

Why is this? Pandora is not radio. That radio ad the car dealer lifted and placed on Pandora sounds outdated. The fake scenarios sound even fakier. Scripts sound too much like, well, scripts. Different environments and different listening require different creative thinking, and authenticity rules.

Here is some advice from the experts at Pandora:

  • Use a conversational tone: “Traditional radio ads are notorious for shouting voiceovers, overused sound effects and excessive repetition. This approach can be especially off-putting when delivered in a digital environment. Using a conversational tone creates an easier transition between entertainment content (like music) and advertising. It’s less jarring, so it feel like less of an interruption. The listener should feel like they’re being spoken by a friend, by someone they can trust.” 
  • Address the individual: Most of Pandora listeners are using ear buds, so write it like you are talking directly into one person’s ear, because that is exactly what you’re doing.
  • Simplify your value proposition: Make it simple to consume. Enough said.
  • Use a clear call to action: Don’t yell it, just tell people what you want them to do, such as fill out a form, visit a website, watch a video or download a white paper.

Pandora is not radio. It is its own medium in a world of media, and it needs distinct messaging to make it work. Remember, to get people to buy, they need to buy into you and your organization.

Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.