Thursday, June 30, 2011

All We Hear Is Radio Bla Bla

At Cannes we heard news that UK agencies appear to have no interest left whatsoever in radio. That everybody is focused on TV and online.

Creatives don't want to work on radio because they think it is boring, that it has little creative opportunity, that they cannot get a raise or become known by making great radio work. This means radio work often gets farmed out to juniors or neglected, not given the care it deserves.

Radio isn't a big impactful medium, it won't do anything for your brand... so let's focus on the TV and online stuff shall we?

The problem with that view is that it is totally wrong.

If you think radio is useless then you are not doing it right. Use it like any other medium and make the most of the opportunity. Treat it with respect, understand how to make it work, and then make bloody good stuff.

Has everyone forgotten the Budweiser Men of genius work? Radio spots so good that they turned it into a TV campaign, which wasn't as good as the radio. Have we forgotten that radio is really good at reaching people while they are near a computer? A nice way to promote your new digital work no?

Agencies complaining about low budgets, why not consider if that dirt cheap, badly shot on a shoestring 20 second TV ad you just made, which will air 3 times on an obscure satellite channel (UK Gymnastic 2 +1); might be better as a national 40 second radio campaign on the same budget. Giving you time to actually be creative instead of having 5 seconds to shoehorn in a cheap gag.

I've seen cases of miniscule budgets turned into double figure ROI using radio. You would think people might notice this...

We have some brilliant writers in this country, let's remind them why campaigns are about the bigger picture, not just the fashionable bits.


facu said...

i hate to think of creatives as stuck up assholes that only want to work on a medium and a medium or two only, like a conceited rich boy.

radio is awesome. it´s like tv with imagination. when i was a trainee i longed for radio more that print or even some short tv. i loved the stories and worlds one share and build in peoples minds, literally, not mind washingly (?).

and even if you´re stuck with something else, it´s about the idea and the stories that grow from it, and the places wheres it´s best to tell them.

to all the conceited brats, i say, love the idea of the idea, not the price from it.

Rob said...

Saying radio doesn't work is like saying all men are sexist bastards who have affairs.

Sure some mediums might be more popular than the others. Sure some mediums might attract the same audience as others. But to discount one simply because it's not the flavour of the month is ridiculous and if we were to follow that theory through, then we should close all the ad agencies because too most business out there, they perceive us as belonging to the same era as radio.

Jam said...

Hear bloody hear! A good radio spot uses the imagination and carries the listener along - and, because arguably there's less to work with, the emotional impact (laughter, poignancy) seems to be that much sharper.

The problem is the old arguments that are employed to dismiss it - now so oft-repeated that they appear as received wisdom. "It's a background medium!" Oh, give it a rest. So is TV.

So what do we need to do to get people back into radio? Maybe it's as simple as getting the best examples together to show that yes, good radio exists!