Size DOES Matter

Go ahead. Try stuffing it all in. But ... copy for a 60 sec commercial is NOT going to fit nicely into a 30 sec spot.


Sometimes things fit. Sometimes they don't. We're taught these lessons early.


Square peg in a round hole. Nope, unless we're making that hole a whole lot wider.


Those cute pre-pregnancy pants a few weeks - or months - or, let's get real - a few years - post-baby. In your dreams, mama. That new waist size, courtesy of your new little bundle of joy, may be here to stay for a LONG time. Like forever.


And while we're talking tiny tots, there's ... Baby vs. the Bathtub. If you're a parent, you probably already know where I'm going with this.


When he was a small toddler, my son was terrified he’d be sucked down the drain with the bath water. Totally freaked out doesn't even begin to describe. it.


😘 No, I told him, we don’t throw out the baby with the bath water in this family.


Besides, he wouldn’t fit through that tiny drain hole.


He wasn’t having any of it. Fear and imagination are pretty powerful together, even in a little boy not quite two years old. He wasn’t convinced that his mother wasn’t pulling a fast one until he’d tested the drain thoroughly with all his bath toys.


Can't really blame him. It’s human nature. We believe what we believe until it’s proven without a doubt that it’s otherwise. And still, that’s not always enough.


But that doesn't mean we can still push the elephant through the doorway.

 
Align expectations within given restraints. And work from there. Forcing an elephant through a doorway leads to a shattered doorway. And one really pissed off elephant.

 


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Chipmunk chops to the rescue

There are other truisms regarding fit. Like "one size fits all." Ha! No, sir, it doesn't.


Unless you're talking tent dresses. Or long bolts of cloth that can be wrapped and wrapped and wrapped around all sizes of bodies.


Fit certainly applies to the business world, though we usually assign different names to it like:


Budget

Deadline.

The 30 second commercial radio spot.


Let's talk about that last one.


One of my clients had written a radio commercial script that, when voiced, would run nearly 60 seconds. 54 seconds, to be exact.


No problem, except that it needed to fit a 30 second spot.


Hmmm. Some options here:

  1. Significantly cut the copy to the essentials. There was clearly some unnecessary verbiage that didn't need to be in there. Repetitive phrases, an abundance of adjectives, and details that could have been left out.

  2. Spring for longer air time.

  3. Break the copy into two different commercials. Since it was for a local attraction, each commercial could come from a different person's perspective and serve to reinforce the overall message (that this place is something to see!). Or, alternatively, keep the radio commercial simple and to the point and provide all the extra detailed information on the company website.

  4. Take on the challenge and voice it at break-neck speed. I'm talking chipmunk chops. To the point that even Alvin, Theodore, and Simon would have a hard time understanding what was being said.

And the client chose to ... play Da