Spec Spots

FAQ: Policy for Recording Spec Spots and Real Spots

Hey, we're here to help you make money!

There are few restrictions on who/what we will/can record, and here are a few general guidelines.

  • First, the spot has to be true. Don't ask us to record copy that says you'll save 50% on your energy bills by replacing windows. That might only be possible if you never had windows in the first place! Help us help you and protect our credibility with truthful and straightforward copy.
  • Occasionally, we may have a current agreement with a national sponsor that precludes our ability to be a "spokesperson" for a competitor. For the most part, these apply to other national companies and not your local sponsors. If there is a conflict, we'll let you know what we can/can not do when you contact us.
  • We can only speak from our perch as hosts of The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Don't ask Tom to record a spot as the Home Improvement Editor for AOL or Leslie as a decorator on Trading Spaces/While You Were Out. We need permission to do stuff like that from big companies, with lots of lawyers and, well, you can see where that is going.
  • Production of spots is limited to handing you the voice track. If you want lots of sound effects, etc., you'll need to add those locally.
  • We read what you send. If you want a 30, don't send us 45 seconds worth of copy. You won't like the Tom & Leslie Helium High Voice Track.

NO! Tom & Leslie don't charge affiliates. Like we said, we're here to help YOU make money.

We're flexible. If it gets crazy, we'll let you know.

Sure, but you might want to use this to sell a "Title" sponsorship that includes us ONLY recording for that one advertiser. What you're selling them is more special that way.

We don't have any pre-fab commercials, but we do have lots of stock promos that your own announcer can tag with a sponsor ID, as well as promo scripts you can edit and send back to us to record.

Microsoft Word doc is preferred. All requests should be sent to [email protected].

That depends. We'd suggest allowing 2 weeks from the time you send the spots in to when you need them back. For the most part, we record your spots and promos the very next time we record the show, which is 4-5 times per month. Thereafter, the tracks are processed by our studio and posted on the password-protected side of the Affiliate Website. We'll send you an email when the spots are ready. Then, you can simply log-in and download 'em.

Tips for pitching with spec spots:

Produce a mock station break. Example: If you're a Rush Limbaugh affiliate, fade-in as Rush is talking-up the break over the trademark stinger he plays into stopsets. Make the spec spot the very first spot in the break, so Limbaugh talks right into it. Then, after the prospect's spot, segue to a bank spot, then fade. Doing so makes your spec spot sound less hypothetical; and it aligns your prospect with other "names" in the business community.

Generally, this is something we recommend-AGAINST. Often -- in other advertising -- clich├ęs like "SERVING SPRINGFIELD SINCE 1959" squander copy time that could be better-spent selling benefits. But, compared to impersonal superstores, an established independent can sound more customer-oriented. Home Improvement retailers may be second, third, even fourth-generation owners, whose family names are respected local brands.