Sunday, January 03, 2010

2010 Ad Trends (A Radio Adaptation)

Verizon Wireless' current commercial, in which the carrier touts its 3G cellular coverage as better than rival AT&T's

Suzanne Vranica’s Wall Street Journal short list:
  1. Rough-and-tumble sales pitches taking direct aim at competitors
  2. Other companies will show their softer sides. In the bleak aftermath of the recession, many marketers think consumers will respond to brands they perceive as giving back to the community
  3. Fewer actors and more animated characters (cheaper to produce)
  4. Social-network personalities make their way to mass-media stardom
  5. TV viewers see more split screens that give them a glimpse of what is going on behind the scenes of a show while a commercial runs on the other side of the split (hoping to avoid TIVO ad skipping)
  6. Mobile advertising (maybe for real this year?)
  7. Fewer big-name celebrities and athletes pitching for brands, thanks to Tiger Woods
  8. Consumers volunteer their personal information in return for getting the ads they want to see
Radio, fortunately, has faced "ad skipping" for decades, so we "should" be the experts at maintaining audiences through our commercials, which are in the spotlight on center stage, giving listeners only three choices: listen through them, change stations or turn the radio off.

Better, more creative commercials build higher listening levels, get measurably better results and make it possible to charge higher rates.

There is a radio resolution for 2010!


Facebook Thread said...

Bill Harman and Ron Erak like this.

Joe Edwards Molz
I remember singing along to the Coke (I'd like to teach the world..) and Pepsi (You're the Pepsi generation...) commercials back in the early 70s. They were as entertaining as the music.

Dave Savage
What if our commercial breaks were so entertaining some people would listen to a song they were tired of hoping a commercial break was next??? It could happen with a team effort by station managers, PD's, production directors, sales managers, AE's, agencies and clients.

Chris Harding
Agree Dave but so often in Med/Smaller markets the client either (a) can't decide what to run next week til Friday 4p, (b) wants to voice his own spot (because people say he has a face for radio), or (c) insists on using the creative his brother-in-law wrote at 2am last Sunday morning coz it's cute.

Dave Savage
Believe me Chris, that happens in the majors too. That's why everybody needs to be on board, including the client and that's no small task.
about an hour ago ·

Joe Knapp
Even in the largest markets I hear the same exact spot running two, three, or even four times an hour. We wouldn't do this with music. Commercials need proper rotation, just like songs, or the station sounds repetitive and boring.

Jaye Albright
This dialog is going on my blog as (great) comments now. Seems to me that local GM's and SM's have to commit to educating the offending clients and that's never easy and comes with lots of short-term risk of losing money, but we must do it sooner or later.

However, I hear that not everyone in Philly in spite of all the logos on the homepage at has the courage and vision to go along with B-101's brilliant effort to do it. Even though Jerry Lee's team as done most of the heavy lifting already for them.

facebook Thread said...

Steven Saslow
A client might need spots running in the same hour...just alternate the creative......

Jaye Albright
Why would any client "need" two spots per hour? ROS and OES scheduled with good vertical and horiztonal rotations = intercepting more listening occasions and PPM proves that will increase both reach and frequency much more than trying double your impact and frequency with only a small group of the same folks listening in two or three quarter hours... See More. I think we need to really study our new metrics and goals, rethinking conventional wisdoms. Remote broadcasts cost a lot of money for clients to get a small number of people to show up at their location. I know it's very profitable to stations right now, as long as blowing off the audience doesn't matter, but it's time to think longer term, for both our medium and our clients best interests. Remotes and radiothons can still be done, but they must be completely rethought and re-priced if we want radio's financial model to last more than just a few more years.

Joe Knapp said...

Yes. I would suggest that five different creative variations has a higher probability of success than simply repeating one. An impression is somewhat like a good joke. It's funny the first time you hear it, but not so much afterward. Ideally, therefore, every spot you run should be different. Of course, that's not practical. But it WAS possible back in the days of live copy with talent who could ad lib well.

Steve Saslow said...

Steven Saslow
I can give you specific examples of clients that have used daypart targeting of spots with more than two spots per hourand it works...also in combination with roadblocking. The creative has similar hooks...but the messaging is changed up so people dont tune it out. Have done with Auto and specialty clothing retail amd others when day/date/time of offer or promotion is running.
Remeber Charlie Trubia?

Jaye Albright
Thanks for taking time to engage, Steven. I understand all of that, but my point is that banner ads, paid search, high frequency Roy Williams radio and TV no doubt work for clients, but it seems to me that the target audiences are becoming less and less willing to sit still while we use those techniques. Perhaos we can both agree that high ... See Morefrequncy needs to be very entertaining or even better imbedded in the programming which draws the audience, or it's going to work less and less well as audiences spend shorter and shorter perioids of time with all media, which makes those clicks and impressions worth less and less.

Unknown said...

Dave Savage
Thanks for the great blog, Jaye! I could go on about this all day and still not say everything I want to say.

The one thing that doesn't exist right now is the time it takes to create engaging messages. It will cost more $$$ to spend the time necessary to create messages that entertain and inform. And a lack of $$$ is one thing all broadcasters have in common. How does the writer, producer and AE all spend the extra time and still handle the already heavy work load???

Steven Saslow said...

We should have a phone call about this topic. Most of my time is spent talking with clients.....Dont know that clients know if digital advertising actually works....dont know that they place much value in anything other than video rolls....but your point about audiences supports what I am commenting about. Radio impressions are worth quite a bit ... See Moremore if you can get results for a client.
I have been hearing arguments about media fragmentation since 1972. Although there may be more choices ....some of us including you know how to make radio programming and advertising work for clients regardless of other media choices.

Albright and O'Malley said...

On THAT we 100% agree and I also believe that as other audiences fragment more and more, radio's ability to engage loyal and targeted audiences will enhance our value as long as our sellers believe that too and are able to justify radio's fair share of ad dollars for a change.

-Jaye Albright

John Windus said...

Granted we're in a small market but we have more clients building videos into their contracts. Doesn't work for all clients but when it does, it creates the engaging content we all strive for. If that engaging content happens to include a commercial message, I'm ok with that ;)

Facebook group said...

Joe Knapp
I hate to sound simplistic but some of this is obvious. I am much more inclined to go see the movie Avatar after an excited friend tells me how much they liked it than I am after seeing a very expensive trailer. A radio commercial has almost no chance to sell me

The audience is becoming immune to hype. The really great productions can generate a ... See Morenegative reaction. Radio has never had the right metrics. First we estimated the number of listeners. Now we measure how many people hear us. We've never really measured how effective our station is at selling products for our sponsors. If we had that metric, we could really fine tune our product.

Steven Saslow
Joe there was a time when the movie studios were top radio advertisers...Like Warner Brothers..and they are open to it again. Why do you think they went away?

Joe Knapp
Because they could not measure the effectiveness of a radio commercial so they went with what they know, or think they know. I had a retail shop and I used radio. I knew how many people heard my spots, but I had no idea how much ROI could be traced to those spots. If I knew that, and if I returned more than I invested, I would stay with radio. That's like buying $20 bills for ten bucks. I didn't understand this when I sold radio. If I did, I would have sold it a totally different way.

Steven Saslow
Short answer is they could measure the effectiveness and still today can define how effective radio is as as a call to action medium. The problem was how it was sold and how schedules cold not be communicated to agencies/cleints in a timely fashion before they actually ran. So they learned not to trust...and became subjected to producers who needed to know where spots ran with no answer. Radio lost a catagory as other easier to buy options came of age.....or complied with their needs.

Radio was perceived to be unresponsive...inconsistent in its sales coverage, unwilling to work on innovative promotional ideas.... and became too difficult to manage andbuy.... Again with other cheap viable alternaltive radio lost a catagory.

So its time to get back to basics of selling.... the combination of radio advertising, on-air givaways (promo spots includied )works. Studio clients (marketing) needs to be reminded that consumer research that demonstrating higher than usual incidences of "newspaper" was the result of radio advertising. Very similar to automotive yellow page results.

Now , in 2010 add radio's ability to drive word of mouth on air-online and on mobile and radio can re-establish a catagory. Lots of work but worthwhile....

RE-Invent radio in the eyes of the client
Better programming and advertising = Better Ratings

Marianne Kohler Burkett
No matter how annoying that furniture/car ad is to you...if you hear it enough, you will eventually shop there, or at least be curious enough to drive by. Back when I was a jock and MD (remember carts??)... I remember color "coding" commercials with dots... best sounding green, normal: yellow and annoying: red. Always hated having to start a stopset with a RED!

facebook Thread said...

Danny Wright
Marianne - I recall those days. What i disliked was someone else deciding what sounded "good" and what did not. Very, very subjective. I followed the codes but often wondered about the sequencing. I guess this would be an early example of computer programs, powered by a guy with a bunch of stick on dots instead of Prophet ... :)

Joe Knapp
Steven I agree completely. Not knowing in advance when my spots would run was terribly annoying to me. I also felt that today's radio reps were making the sales process far too complicated. They wanted to bundle all this NTR crap with the spots I really wanted. I'll take your word for it about Hollywood knowing how effective radio was at putting ... See Morebutts in seats. I wish I could have that same confidence as a retail shop advertiser. Not only did I have no correlation between gross impressions and resulting sales, it was that very lack of coordination that made me skeptical as a media buyer. The CCC reps who pitched me here in Milwaukee had no clue about what was important to me. They only talked about how much a campaign would COST me. I needed to know how much it would EARN for me! They talked me into a remote that was a total disaster. Listeners showed up at my store, stood in line to get free bling from the DJ, then left. Nobody stayed to shop. The radio rep bragged later about all the bodies he delivered. I complained that all that commotion kept regular customers away, resulting in a down cash day! They talked about how many people would hear my spots, but had no data to suggest how many of those people were likely to buy something at MY shop, and certainly nothing that would measure actual performance. I did a better job selling radio in a tiny unrated market in Ohio. I had to take some chances and have faith in my product, but I did manage to prove that radio could indeed sell furniture! Also, most radio websites are worthless to sponsors these days. They don't engage the audience enough to be worth one extra nickel.