Magazine article Marketing

In Quest of a Better Radio Ad

Magazine article Marketing

In Quest of a Better Radio Ad

Article excerpt

If there is one issue which makes even the most persuasive radio marketer throw his hands up in despair it's the way poor-quality radio ads can get anguished listeners reaching for the dial.

One background difficulty, of course, is that every aspiring creative knows Ridley Scott, Alan Parker and David Puttnam didn't become Hollywood darlings via their commitment to local radio. The former agency men in radio acknowledge the point. Classic FM managing director John Spearman (ex-Collett Dickenson Pearce boss) says, "If you tell the creatives that you've won a |pounds~1m radio account they look at you as if you've just broken their leg."

There are other problems. It is well-established that you can't run the same radio ad again and again. While a single TV execution can get by on a set of interesting visuals, a single radio execution can be positively excruciating after three airings.

There is also the advertiser fear of popping up between an ad for a bicycle shop and someone demanding that you visit the local freezer centre.

Given the obstacles how should the industry encourage innovation?

Never let it be said that Marketing hasn't done its bit. In association with Capital we run an ad-of-the-quarter review. The current champ is Euro RSCG's Tampax work -- a strategy which stresses the value of making your audience laugh.

Capital chief executive Richard Eyre, also a defector from the agency side, believes part of the skill is turning the hustle and bustle of fast-moving shows to your advantage by changing pace. He picks out the reflective Swinton ads as an example.

Radio can also be used as a cost-effective way to support an expensive TV execution. If, like Guinness, you fork out a fortune on a single TV ad, then you can use radio to extend the shelf-life of the campaign cheaply or, as sometimes occurs, discover an effective format on radio which converts to TV. …

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