At many radio stations, the process of writing imaging copy tends to fall into one of two categories: Generic and Creative. There’s a massive difference.

Imaging Copy: Generic

One approach is to create generic, broad and plain. The copy tends to be safe, usually repeating the station name, dial position and positioning phrase in a slightly different order.

A typical example is a bundle of liners like these:

  • Mix 100, playing the best variety of the 90s and now.
  • The best variety of the 90s and now is on Mix 100.
  • The most music and the best variety from the 90s and now is on Mix 100.

All of these liners are fine. There’s nothing inherently wrong with them.

The benefits of writing generic imaging copy is that the production never becomes outdated. it doesn’t burn out, and doesn’t annoy listeners. These liners are perfect if you want to “set it and forget it”. Since the production holds up over a long period, it’s a reasonable solution for stations on a very tight budget. If the copy never changes, these stations save a few bucks on the voiceover talent.

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The problem with these liners is they rarely make a positive impact on the audience. They are factual and informational, and not charged with emotion. And emotion is what drives listening decisions. Very quickly, this imaging becomes part of the landscape, blending into the background. It’s basically invisible.

Imaging Copy: Creative

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