Monday, August 08, 2005

Advertising on the radio

People are naturally inclined to tune out as soon as they hear certain words. We have learned through a lifetime of hearing ads that as soon as we get any indication that what we are hearing is an ad - we switch off.

Prices, dates, times, offers, numbers, and there is the announcer as well.

Most advertising on the radio is geared at the subconscious. They know that people are not going to actively listen to it, and try to slip in under the radar through frequency. The problem is, this is about as effective as saying the product/offer/brand name over and over. It's basically annoying, and it is the kind of thing that has brought us 'commercial free hours' and in the case of satellite radio and TIVO, geting people to pay money NOT to hear ads.

This is a backwards model.

Admittedly, very few ads are entertaining enough to stand alone. But it takes a very brave marketing effort to put out ads that aren't like ads at all. There's a great series of ads out of Australia by the NATIONAL THOROUGHBRED RACING ASSOCIATION< and a series by Absolut where they spice up everyday boring things like office memos by singing them to a reggae beat or make bluegrass songs out of deodorant ingredients<. Can you imagine pitching these ads?


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