I have heard that the spot ad is dead.
I also heard it 20 years ago… because someone had read a marketing book that said it. (although they
couldn’t remember the name of the book)
I heard it from an advertising agency exec, so it must be true!
Here is the truth. SOME agencies (note: not ALL agencies) just don’t know how to do good radio advertising. They look for the easiest way possible to get their clients on air. In some markets the easiest way is to hand a list of features to a radio presenter and get them to read it out on air. Or get an “activation” done with the argument that the product needs to get “closer to the people”.
There are some activations which are really excellent, and some presenters that do it really well. BUT if you just use a 1 or 2 week activation you are not using radio well. Like a tower block build with no foundations, after a while you’re just left with a pile of rubble.
Clients who use radio WELL are the ones that are on all the time (or it feels like they are) and have a foundation of regular spot ads. Spot ads that are “controlled” word of mouth. They give a clear and creative message… they don’t try to cram in features, but give a benefit to the listener. They don’t rely on whether the presenter is having a good day or not. They don’t have the potential damage of a presenter saying “Nokia” when they meant “Samsung”. They have the advantage of reaching a wider audience with a cleverly managed schedule.
I am not saying, don’t do promotions, activations and competitions with your station. I am saying you will get MUCH better results if you have put down a month or two of heavy spot advertising before you do. You will have more of a relationship, and more recognition with the listener.
The truth is, spot advertising can be hard to do well. It’s often beyond the experience of an Agency. Or they see it as below them. So they take the easy option.
But great radio spot advertising is still throwing out some great creative ads, results drivin, award winning ideas and great executions.
The Spot ad is dead? Tell that to Coca-cola, MacDonalds, Budweiser… etc. etc.
I don’t think I’m ever going to get a job with an Advertising Agency now!