Archive | March, 2014

XFM Returns to Scotland

24 Mar

After a six year hiatus the XFM brand returns to Scotland on April the 7th.

The XFM brand is renowned for pioneering new music and XFM Scotland will be no exception, continue the station’s history of supporting new and upcoming talent.  Acts championed by XFM include, Biffy Clyro, The View and Snow Patrol.

The presenter line-up includes Jo Good, John Kennedy and Blur drummer Dave Rowntree.

XFM managing editor, Chris Baughen, said: “Coming back to Scotland after nearly six years away is huge for us.  We’re really excited to be returning to our loyal listeners across the country.  We’ll continue to support emerging Scottish bands, as well as XFM favourites from across indie, alternative and rock music.”

XFM’s return to Scotland is just part of the many changes taking place currently amongst the UK’s well known radio brands.

You can listen on 96.3FM in Paisley and on DAB across central Scotland.

Tim Cowland is a Founder Partner at Radio Experts, a London based specialist radio advertising. @timcradioexpert


Gold Changes to Smooth

21 Mar

Back in February we told you about the exciting plans that Global had announced for radical changes to their Smooth Radio brand. This included an increased focus on bigger named celebrities and an even more branded and slicker approach.

The news this week is that changes are rolling out from this Monday 24th March on many of Smooth’s FM stations.But even bigger news is that all but 3 of Global’s Gold stations will be re-branded as Smooth.

Overall, there will now be 18 Smooth stations across the UK. This includes their 6 existing FM stations and the 12 re-branded Gold AM stations.

The Smooth brand has been designed to niche target a new type of slightly older listener with refined tastes and a high disposable income.

Judicious radio planning for the right client means Smooth offers even more opportunities for advertisers across the new expanded services and can be a great choice on the radio schedule.

Tim Cowland is a Founder Partner at Radio Experts, a London based specialist radio advertising. @timcradioexpert

Spring is in the air

14 Mar

Spring is a really busy time on radio for one type of advertiser.

Although this sector of business advertises all year round, it’s particularly noticeable during Spring.

We’re talking about recruitment.

Spring is one of the key points in the year when companies advertise new vacancies and employees start to review their careers. At Radio Experts we’ve certainly seen an increase in briefs for recruitment campaigns over the last 2 weeks.

Radio is a perfect medium for recruitment. Audience figures show that 72.9% of UK adults aged 18-60 who are in employment listen to commercial radio for an average of 12.4 hours each week.

Here are some of the other key advantages radio can offer:

  • Radio delivers a wider recruitment audience

Advertising in local press only reaches those actively scouring the job ads for a new role. But radio is intrusive, so as well as those looking for a new job, radio picks up those who are just minding their own business who can be very tempted with a well crafted invitation to a better job. In radio, recruitment ads will also be heard by other “influencers”. Wives, Husbands, Mothers, Fathers etc; who will pass on the information about a job to family members.

  • Radio and Online are often consumed together

A large amount of radio listenership takes place in the workplace or in situations where listeners have access to both the web and their radio (and many even listen online). This means that those who wish to respond to a recruitment advert they’ve heard on radio can have an instant look at the recruiter’s website.

  • Radio is a 24/7 media

Radio recruitment schedules can be optimised so that the adverts go out at key recruitment times. For instance on a Sunday night, when people have the blues about work the next day. Or when recruiting for security guards, the spots can be planned to go out overnight.

Every campaign is different, but a good creative approach and intelligent, intuitive planning of airtime can be the biggest drivers behind radio’s success with recruitment campaigns.

Tim Cowland is a Founder Partner at Radio Experts, a London based specialist radio advertising. @timcradioexpert

What the Bobbins is BOB FM?

11 Mar

When a station suddenly changes its name to something a little unusual, you know there’s going to be an interesting story behind it.

JACK FM Herts has just changed its name to BOB FM. It seems that the Hertfordshire based station wanted to broadcast additionally on DAB, which can be heard way beyond their transmission area. Because the Jack FM brand is licensed to other stations across the UK, they wouldn’t have exclusive rights to it on DAB. So they came up with a novel idea for re-branding the station – by asking their listeners for their suggestions. And so the BOB FM name was born!

You can listen to the explanation by Bob FM’s breakfast presenter Graham Mack below;

Tim Cowland is a Founder Partner at Radio Experts, a London based specialist radio advertising. @timcradioexpert

Musical patterns – why it helps us remember

7 Mar

We were in meeting with a client a few days ago discussing the various merits of a few different approaches we had produced for their sonic identity.

And within the choice was one particular example which although it consisted of the same sound constituents – it was significantly more musical than the others

And we talked and we talked

And there were different things about the different sonics that we each liked

But the musical one was the sonic that received our strongest recommendation

And this was because we started to talk about patterns – and how people remember things and how to make it easy for people to remember things…..and how to make sure that they’re not just remembering on a conscious level…..but there’s also a degree of cerebral printing going on.

Expanding the the subject out further of course you start to see a justification for and an explanation for  – how come jingles work so well?

Why is it that advertisers  took the journey from “this is what we want to say”


”let’s sing it so that people can really recall it?”

It’s against the backdrop of these types of thoughts and experiences which we regularly have when discussing creative with clients – that we were absolutely fascinated to be directed to this brilliant article.

(All credit to @MarkBarber at the RAB for the heads-up on this one!)

The article is long but it really nails it – discussing music – repetition – how we find pleasure in musical patterns we already know and more….

It’s always a nice feeling when others back up what you felt you knew in your gut. And in fairness all of the ideas that we work to at Radio Experts are based in a combination of experience, gut and science  – but this article is a brilliant exploration.

We’ve been saying it since the invention of the viola – but, a well thought through, well honed piece of music  – be it 2 seconds long or 30 seconds long – is a great way to sync your brand, your branding and your advertiser identity deep into the psyche and the memory of listeners.

Understanding how music works and why music works is a great start.

Tim Cowland is a Founder Partner at Radio Experts, a London based specialist radio advertising. @timcradioexpert

The Capital Network Expands

7 Mar

The Capital network continues to expand, as it now moves further into Wales.Capital FM Network

Ofcom’s recent approval of format changes to Heart North Wales, Heart Wrexham and Chester means Global can re-brand these stations as Capital.

Capital has a reach of 7.5 million each week across the UK and with this expansion into North and North East Wales; they say that “listeners will get access to the latest glamour, glitz and gossip happening right now in the world of showbiz and get up close and personal with current and emerging artists”.

It’ll take a while for these changes to filter through to RAJAR results, but we’ll be keeping a keen eye over the next couple of quarters to see what impact the re-brand has on the audience figures in Wales.

Tim Cowland is a Founder Partner at Radio Experts, a London based specialist radio advertising. @timcradioexpert

Motoring ahead in 2014

6 Mar

2013 was the best year for sales of new cars since 2007 with consistent growth. It’s predicted that in 2014 the advertising spend on radio within the automotive sector will grow by 1.4%. Growth in this sector is often a great barometer for the rest of the UK economy and at Radio Experts we’re certainly seeing signs that confidence is rising and that radio is at the forefront of the recovery.

We’ve been busy working on a great many new campaigns across a wide range of sectors all over the UK. With the green shoots of recovery growing stronger, now more than ever, businesses are being smarter about their radio advertising. They need it to work harder, they need their radio creative to stand out and they need to demonstrate results.

The team at Radio Experts has always been focussed on developing radio campaigns to these exacting standards. Every day, our media planners use their insight to pin-point the best value for money for clients, ensuring the proposed campaign delivers on its promise.

Our creative team are experienced in assessing a brief and extracting the selling points that are most likely to stimulate interest in the audience, crafting a radio ad that is unique and engaging.

So, with confidence rising and signs that the UK economy is now starting to flourish, now’s the perfect time for advertisers to be on radio. We’d love to work on your next brief, so contact us today.

Tim Cowland is a Founder Partner at Radio Experts, a London based specialist radio advertising. @timcradioexpert