Archive | June, 2010

World Cup Radio

23 Jun

I’ve just been onto the Talksport website. I make it my business as a radio advertising expert to regularly do a ‘secret shop’ on all of the main radio station websites.

What struck me as fascinating about the Talksport site was just how much of a multimedia zone it has become and how much World Cup content is available there. Podcasts, videos, articles, pundits, photos, predictions, wallcharts….you name it, they’ve got it. And fair play to them.

The real media change that this typifies is the change taking place at the well run radio stations that have an innately strong editorial nature (such as Talksport, Classic FM, LBC, Jazz FM).

For this fairly rare breed of UK radio stations, they offer yesterday’s radio advertiser a fully immersive multimedia approach today. In this time of change, herded interest and content consumption, stations like Talksport can seize on events like the World Cup by providing access to more than just their listeners. By building the requisite functionality, they can add viewers, readers, community members, social networkers, fans and more to their ever growing list of content customers.

In a changing world of media consumption, we know radio. So we’ll keep secret shopping and make it our business to keep you turned on and tuned in.

Tim Cowland is a Founder Partner at Radio Experts, a London based specialist radio advertising agency. tim.cowland@radioexperts.co.uk

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Interrogating the Creative Brief

16 Jun

When a radio advertising  brief arrives, every writer looks for clues, nuggets of information, little handles on which to hang his scripts.

It might be a detail, such as a superior service or a product feature, that sets your company apart from the opposition. It might be a genuine USP which takes the writer into new territory.

Sometimes, however, the message seems to be identical to its competitors, so radio has to do what other media have traditionally done as a matter of course: create a brand personality. One that reflects the attributes of the brand, creating an affinity between the company or product and its consumer. A brand personality that resonates with your target audience to the extent that they prefer your product to any other in the market.

Creating a brand personality sounds entirely problematic for radio until you turn the equation on its head with one simple question. What is my brand’s tone of voice?

And all of a sudden its very very easy to see how radio can deliver a brand personality.

So throw down the gauntlet. Radio Experts, for one, will be more than happy to pick it up.

Tim Cowland is a Founder Partner at Radio Experts, a London based specialist radio advertising agency. tim.cowland@radioexperts.co.uk

Celebrity Voices. Are They Worth It?

8 Jun

The cult of celebrity, of course, has always been with us. From Cleopatra to Henry VIII, from Rasputin to David Beckham.

The question is:  does a celebrity voice add value to your company or brand’s  radio advertising? If so, is the celebrity voice worth the additional cost? All of this then leads to the bigger question –   is this ‘voice’ a good investment for my company?

Personally, I think some radio advert scriptwriters use celebrity voices in the absence of a relevant idea for the brief and the target audience. In the end, it’s the message not the messenger which is most important.

If the message is not relevant to the audience you want to reach or memorable either, no celebrity can help. But sometimes, just sometimes, you hear a celebrity speaking up for a company or a product and you think ’that’s a good fit’.

That’s when celebrity voices become powerful.

Like the time when there was a queue around the block for the launch of a new property development

Or the time we helped introduce a new car model and the manufacturer sold out for the first 6 months of production

Or the time we helped a new domestic brand to market and it researched as a househould name within 3 months.

These are just some of the many successful campaigns we have seen at Radio Experts, where skillfully chosen celebrity voices have added some rocket fuel to an advertising campaign.

Like so many things in life, the answer is that if a thing is done carefully, it is done well.

And one more thing – it’s radio so we will never ask you to choose a celebrity with a well known face but a little known voice! You’d be surprised how many people make that mistake…….

Tim Cowland is a Founder Partner at Radio Experts, a London based specialist radio advertising agency. tim.cowland@radioexperts.co.uk