Writing An Effective NRP Billboard.


I’m getting ready to do my first ever paid billboard ad promoting What’s The Idea? on NPR. Though I’ve written over 2,600 blog posts about branding and marketing, I’ve never actually done an ad for this business. Nor have I written for it a brand strategy. Clearly some cobbler’s children shit going on here.

An NPR billboard these days is anywhere from 10-15 seconds of copy read on the radio by an NPR announcer. Recorded but sans any overt production value. Just words. If they are still holding to form, NPR will not allow any superlatives or overly salesy copy.

This is going to be a wonderful exercise. Boiling down What’s The Idea? and its value proposition to a scarce few words.

Here’s what copy must do:

  • Explain what the business is. (Brand consultancy.)
  • Establish what the business does. (Brand strategy.)
  • Explain what brand strategy is. (Organizing   principle.)
  • Explain why prospective clients need a brand strategy.
  • Lastly, establish why What’s The Idea? is a good choice.

And all this must be accomplished with panache in less than 15 seconds.

It could be worse. I could be writing an actual roadside billboard, where you are limited to 5 words and a picture.

For the next few days, I’ll be putting my thinking cap on and drafting a billboard. Stay tuned.