Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Guest Commentary On Radio's Engagement Goals

Lately, every time I click on something, especially a link on Facebook, I have to sit through a commercial that's up to 30-seconds in length.  It's getting rarer and rarer that you get an ad where you can bail out after 5-seconds.

Yesterday, I wanted to stream a station and was greeted with a 15-second spot for the Washington Lottery.  But the stream died and I had to restart it, only to hear that exact spot again.  Without getting into all the reasons why, I had to hear that exact commercial 6 times within 5 minutes.  UNCLE!

Not all, but a lot of these ads are being bonused to stations' best advertisers.  So, if we're GIVING them away, why not stick to the shortest ones -- the 10s?  I've seen them cross my desk and it is frequently the option of the AE to select which spot the station can use. 

Have we reached a time when the sales department no longer thinks about the listener and what used to be part of what we called Listener Fatigue?  The Internet is not like a radio station where the listener knows he/she is waiting for music and can turn the radio down, mentally tune out, or literally tune out.   But when people click onto a link on the Internet, it's literally in your face.  You're sitting at a computer monitor or tablet with your nose pressed against a video screen, so it's difficult to escape the ad without shutting down the browser.  On top of that, you're liable to get the exact same ad over and over if you are clicking around to various sites.  I can't believe that leaves an impression that the advertiser wanted.

To me, there's no longer anything that is worth sitting through a 30-second spot in my face.  More often than not, I say, "Forget it," and go back to what I was doing. 

Doesn't it seem like a good idea to drop a cookie into the person's browser to let the advertisers know they've already made their point and to give the listener a break for a change?

  -- Jon Badeaux

PS:  When I first left BP Consulting Group back in the mid-90s and went back on my own as a consultant, Jon was my first associate and I still worship his intelligence and integrity, as do many of A&O&B's long-standing clients.

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