Duo sold on radio advertising
By Ivy VogelPost Independent StaffThe second a good song on the radio turns into an annoying commercial, listeners start searching for more music.The minute those same commercials disappear and music comes on, Don Chaney and Brian Keleher search for new commercials.Although their radio choices suggest otherwise, Chaney and Keleher aren’t certifiably nuts, they’re hilarious and effective businessmen.Chaney, 40, of Glenwood, and Keleher, 35, of Carbondale, own 24 Six Communications Group, a company that creates radio commercials.Keleher and Chaney listen for radio commercials that hold their interest and then implement good technique into their commercials.”If you’re going to make an ad be stupid or silly, you have to make it smart,” Chaney said.Chaney and Keleher’s most well-known ad is for Bishop Plumbing and Heating. The commercial features a father and son. People react well to the commercial because the father, who is an engineer, is ridiculously clueless about plumbing but his young son has all the answers.The ad is silly because generally, an engineer knows more about plumbing than a young kid. It’s smart because it makes people chuckle.Bishop belonged to a national plumbers association. After getting tremendous results from their radio advertisements, Bishop suggested the ad to other plumbers who advertise in different markets. The Bishop ad is now used in several plumbing markets throughout the United States.Creating flat, unlikely conversation between people is ineffective, Chaney said.For example, if a mother and daughter are having a conversation in the ad, their conversation can’t be completely generic, Keleher said.Mom can’t say: “Where are you going?”Daughter can’t say: “I’m going to the store to buy X brand of jeans.”A daughter would never tell her mom she was going to the store to buy X brand of jeans. She’s simply say she was going to the store. Chaney and Keleher met in 1992 while working at KSPN in Aspen and now own a commercial recording studio in Carbondale. As DJs at a small radio station, Chaney and Keleher did a little bit of everything, including creating commercials. Oddly enough, Chaney and Keleher liked making commercials more than being DJs.They left the station but didn’t see each other until six years later, when they ran into one another at Jazz Aspen on June 24 – Keleher and Chaney’s birthday.Chaney, project director at KSNO in Aspen, asked Keleher to work for him.Keleher said yes, but in 2002, they decided to quit their jobs and start 24six, which is named in honor of their shared birthday.”When I told my wife that I quit a high-paying position she went very pale because we had a nine-month-old child,” Chaney said. “We’d talked about it but I don’t think she ever believed I would actually do it. She’s been very supportive.”24 Six, which currently has 17 clients, is very much a family business.When they first started, Keleher turned a room in his home into the 24 Six recording studio.The room was next to his 10-month-old’s bedroom so Chaney and Keleher had to work around nap time.Finding clients wasn’t too difficult – many clients recognized Chaney and Keleher from their radio shows – but seeing eye to eye with clients on how an ad should run was challenging, Chaney said.. “Nine times out of ten a client doesn’t want to take a chance on a funny ad,” Chaney said. “Usually they trust us enough to just let us try it and then they like it.”Chaney and Keleher convinced Shed City to run a trial ad – which the company wasn’t excited about – for a few days. The ad was a hit and is still on the radio.Tracking an ad’s success is difficult, Keleher said. Sometimes clients use toll-free numbers or contest offers that are only offered on the radio. The advertiser tracks listeners by listing the number of people who call or sign up for these radio-only promotions.The best way to track an ad is to ask customers where they heard about the company, Chaney said.So far, 24 Six is getting positive feedback for its customers. Chaney and Keleher want to appeal to more professional associations, like the plumbers association, so they can continue to recycle ads. They’re also delving into children’s entertainment and have a CD called “My Adventure Story” that has short vignettes, stories, rhymes and songs. “We really trust each other and we think so alike that it just works,” Keleher said. “We’re really thankful for this partnership.”Contact Ivy Vogel: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.orgFor more information:To contact 24six Communications call 963-4652.
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