Magazine article Marketing

Radio Watch

Magazine article Marketing

Radio Watch

Article excerpt

The monthly analysis of radio recall in association with emap

As radio is cost-effective and notoriously ideas-hungry, radio advertising changes fast -- so it is worthy of note when the longest-standing campaign of the past few years decides on a face-lift.

Carphone Warehouse has always been an unusual company, with customer-focused founder Charles Dunstone building the brand on radio and pioneering the mobile phone sector that now dominates Radiowatch every month.

Carphone's radio ads have used the 'Get Connected' sonic logo for six years and Carol Vorderman for half that time. The Vorderman campaign was created by radio specialist Radioville, which retained the [pound]8m account in a recent review.

But last month, the agency launched a a Vorderman-free campaign with just the barest hint of 'Get Connected'. "In terms of building a brand on radio, Carphone wrote the book," said Radioville managing director Adrian Reith. If that's the case, then what are the key ingredients of volume two, and what is the thinking behind it?

The 15 new ads are all 40-second executions -- Radioville creative director Tim Craig believes firmly in the adage 'Inform in 30, entertain in 40' -- and are mini-monologues by Irish stand-up comedian Ed Byrne.

Cheeky and cheerful, the commercials promote the Carphone brand as well as particular offers, ending with the line 'They're nice like that'.

While it is too early to evaluate the new work, it is worth noting that it has given Carphone its highest Radiowatch recall score since last August. It has also scored significantly better among men, with 70% recalling the campaign compared with 62% and 58% for the previous two months. And while recall remains static among C2 and DE demographic groups, it is noticeably up among AB and C1 consumers.

Byrne, a recent winner of the Perrier stand-up comedy award, was chosen to front the campaign because of his friendly style and wide appeal. Although he may stay for longer, he has only been signed up until the autumn - indicating, perhaps, that Radioville is determined to maintain its new-found creative flexibility.

With the pre-pay mobile sector in decline, messages about service and expertise seem particularly relevant, and one of the key objectives of the Byrne work is to remind consumers of the original Carphone proposition of independence, good value and friendly, knowledgeable staff.

Most noticeable is the absence of the 'Get Connected' track, of which only the tiniest hint remains. "Something that well-known can act as a creative anaesthetic both for writer and listener, and we want people to really listen to these ads rather than simply being aware of them," says Craig. …

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