Shift ENGAGE | Purpose Built Creative | “I hear voices”
Anyway, we’d like to turn up the volume on a medium we particularly love: RADIO! Indeed, the only time when ‘hearing things’ is not a negative. Radio rules as a single source mass medium with the potential to ‘speak to’ an audience besides merely selling to it.
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“I hear voices”

In the philosophical words of Queen, “All we hear is radio goo goo, radio gaga!” We invite you to Google that classic song, and its socio-cultural message then come back to this post. While you may not get a greater understanding, at least you’d be the audience to a real 80s gem…with a weird chant.

Anyway, we’d like to turn up the volume on a medium we particularly love: RADIO! Indeed, the only time when ‘hearing things’ is not a negative.

Radio rules as a single source mass medium with the potential to ‘speak to’ an audience besides merely selling to it. The list of marketing communication forms that deliver messages on radio include:

  • Sponsored programs
  • Stings/spots (otherwise known as commercials)
  • Jingles and actual songs, and jingles that became songs
  • Games
  • Call-in shows
  • Live crossover shows

The option of live or pre-recorded material also makes it a flexible medium, catering to how a marketer or brand moulds their/its message.

A really effective radio campaign will get you right in the feels, and stay there, resonating all day.

Far beyond the golden age, but coming into a greater resurgence, radio remains massively popular. Mobile phone and car makers wouldn’t dare forget the FM link, and that’s for a reason. Zoning out. That dash of escapism and the benefit of it acting as ‘background noise’ or a soundtrack to allow messages to stick is what makes it so delicious, and for advertisers the ability to stealthily push in a brand’s message while a person gets on with their life is what makes it so cunning. Couple invariably with the benefit of stoking nostalgia, is why it can be seen as a lifestyle medium.

But before we rave on about the joys of radio, how on earth has it withstood the test of time and avoided the murderous advent of cheaper digital channels in the 21st century?

What makes radio so effective is its ability to get mileage where more ‘modern’ forms fail to penetrate. The existence of urban, rural and community radio stations driven by genre and taste presents plenty of opportunity for targeted ads. This compartmentalisation usually means that the audience can be profiled, thus you know your target before you even begin. For contemporary advertisers, especially, radio is worth listening to. Its ability to create a scenario with a limited time makes it perfect still for millennials who thrive on emotive benefit and ‘consumability’ of message.

The human element is the magic that works for media professionals and brands. The audio sense is linked to memory, and we all know that recall is a factor that is essential in advertising. Thing is, marketers can’t rely on the sales punch of old. There’s need to find creative and inventive ways to use the medium for maximum effect.

What will make a radio campaign stand out is the ability to be felt rather than merely heard. A really effective radio campaign will get you right in the feels, and stay there, resonating all day. It can motivate you to buy, visit, call, subscribe, just do — all the CTAs, all without the aid of a visual aid. That’s what makes it so powerful. Go ahead and search SoundCloud for the superbly done in the Cannes Lions award-winning ‘Still a Man’ radio campaign from South Africa. Not too emotional, but so well done.

In as much as we’re loving the radio revival, marketers are shying away from it because of the challenges it has in terms of measurable ROI. As with any medium, true analysis of reach stats are tricky to say the least with radio. Hurdles involve the measurability of radio-driven campaigns, but this can be overcome by linking with other channels like Facebook. Referral links tell you that someone has actually been listening and heeded the CTA. That’s one way, but luckily as time has progressed stations now have greater technologies for analytics.

Despite threats to it, and its own challenges, radio is still a solid medium to deliver your marketing and advertising communications. Queen’s Freddie Mercury, in all his fabulous glory, sang in that glorious track about radio: “Radio, someone still loves you!”

We agree, Freddie. We agree.