Since I find the subject intriguing, today I am going to follow up on the post I did last Friday about the new program focusing on radio creatives that is being launched by the VCU Brandcenter and receiving $250K of funding from the Radio Advertising Bureau.
After writing that post I reached out to some colleagues at the Brandcenter and managed to arrange a brief chat with the Managing Director, Rick Boyko. Little did I realize that the difference in time zones would have me on the phone with him at 7:00am my time! Still, Mr. Boyko was patient with my caffeine deprivation and filled me in a little on the thoughts behind this new program.
R2020: What are the two key elements of this new program?
RB: Exposing students to the medium of radio in a way that allows them to evaluate its potential. Radio is not the first thing that comes to mind for many creatives when considering campaigns. You often see the media departments and sales force engaged, but not the creatives themselves. By exposing the students to the power of radio we make them aware of its potential.
The second key thing would be to challenge them. Challenge them to use the medium in an original and exciting way.
R2020: So what would you say are some examples of truly outstanding radio creative in real world campaigns?
RB: Well, there’s David Fowler’s campaign for Motel 6, the “We’ll leave the light on for you” ads. Another one that comes to mind is the Real Men of Genius.
These campaigns are great examples of long-running campaigns featuring serialized stories. This sort of approach is a vastly underleveraged form that radio is well suited for while most other forms of media are not.
R2020: So the sense of continuity is important then?
RB: Yes, exactly.
R2020: So would you mind telling our readers what some of the plans are for using the funds the RAB has committed?
RB: Some of it will be used to fund scholarships, something of even more importance in the current economic climate, and some will be used for physical upgrades to our facilities. A portion will be used to provide soundproofing and technology for a “control room” where the students can produce their audio.
R2020: So I’d like to close with my traditional ending questions: what are your favorite radio memories and why do believe radio is so important?
RB: When I was a child my first radio, transistor radio, was turquoise and beige with a big dial on the front of it. One of my fondest radio memories — and I’m dating myself here — is listening to Elvis Presley on that radio.
The most moving memory I have about radio is listening to the broadcast when President Kennedy was shot.
The most important thing about radio? You can get it anywhere. Anywhere at all!
Photo courtesy of the VCU Brandcenter