Top Creatives Brainstorm Better Radio Ads

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radiotowerAccording to the Radio Advertising Bureau‘s RADAR report, 3 million new listeners tuned in to radio’s offerings in 2008. In contrast, The National Association of Broadcasters reports a 9% decline in ad revenues for this same period of time. Something is obviously out of sync. In an effort to locate and address this disconnect, the RAB and the VCU Brandcenter hosted a  round table discussion aimed at examining why this revenue decline is occurring despite substantial increases in radio audience.

The panel was preceded by a judging panel for this year’s Radio Mercury Awards and included many of the same people. Our colleagues  Jeff Haley (president-CEO, RAB), Rick Boyko (director, VCU Brandcenter), and Kelly O’Keefe (managing director, VCU Brandcenter) were joined some of the top creative directors in the industry. Also in attendance were:

The inimitable Andrew Hampp over at Advertising Age has a lovely little eight-minute video from the meeting as well as a nice summary of the proceedings in his column from the 21st of this month.  I highly advise checking it out; seeing these guys dissect the problem and suggest possible solutions is truly worth the time. Some of the remedies they come up with have some real potential, as this excerpt from Mr. Hampp’s article shows:

Elizabeth Talerman, of Talerman & Partners, proposed reviving the old trend of “live reads,” in which popular radio personalities give brands on-air shout-outs for sponsoring contests and other promotional efforts. VCU Brandcenter’s Rick Boyko suggested limiting the number of ads during premium programming to boost engagement. “I think radio stations should charge more for the spots that work,” he said.

If you work in, or have an interest in, the radio industry or the creative sector, I think you’ll find the video and summary worth your time. I’d also heartily advise reading the comments as they add a lot to the gestalt and provide some wonderful depth to the subject. Stop back by when you’re done and let us know what you think.

Photo courtesy of Brett L., used under its Creative Commons license

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