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The rise of radio, Part II

The rise of radio, Part II

The downturn may have an upside for one overlooked advertising medium, Part II.

June 25, 2009 8:10 by

Click here to read Part I.

At ARN, Smith says part of their drive to promote radio includes an education process. “This is a market that’s predominantly buying radio just in the breakfast drive or afternoon drive slots,” he explains. “What we tried to get across with our seminar is that there is such value outside of those peak times. And in fact you’re going to talk to a totally different audience. If you’re just advertising in those times, you’re doing your brand a disservice. You’ll get good results, but you’re missing a whole other audience.”

It’s a view echoed by astute planners such as Yves-Michel Gabay, international business and development director at Mediaedge CIA. When planning for Communicate‘s hypothetical brands in the January issue, he advocated 15 percent of the ad budget for our cola brand be spent on radio at night. “When young people are driving out to go to parties or clubs,” he said.

Vegas, the Impact BBDO creative director behind BPK Recording Studios’ two Bronze wins in the radio category at this year’s Lynx awards, says he understands the shift to radio during tough economic times. But as noted earlier, he doesn’t think too highly of the medium, at least not locally.

The former radio writer and host says that the medium is abused. “Radio is a great brands medium, great for the theatre of the mind, but the day to day reality of radio is that it’s sold as a retail medium. Twenty five percent off, call this number, etc.; radio stations make the ads, so you’ve got the department banging out ads, which doesn’t breed great creativity. Clients just want the facts, and a lot of time clients will say they want their phone number twice in the script.”

But with advertisers using radio as a mainly tactical medium, Smith from ARN says radio can do much more. “Absolutely, it’s great for tactical. You want to cut through and get as much foot traffic through the door,” he says. “But you get a better result if you’ve checked your brand awareness up all the way through the month prior to your sale, and then you get consumers with the campaign about ‘come out to such and such retail store.’ You can only get a much better result if you’ve been able to keep the brand message up.”

Hughes, the founder of Australia’s first dance radio station, Kiss FM, says it is important to consider radio as part of a holistic communication strategy, and that it rarely works as a lone medium for any campaign. “Communication planning is about bringing together the medium and the message around one, big insightful, own-able communication idea,” he explains. “It is essential to look beyond tactics to uncover something that can differentiate and be owned by you.”

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