Recently I was asked to do a campaign for a UK radio station “dissing” their local newspaper. Being a radio advertising copy prostitute I went along with in. Kind of. But tried to take the sting off it with some humour.
Newspapers are not the enemy of radio advertising sales people. Yes, the client will spend most of their budget in newspapers, and you have to work to either take a lions share to advertise on your station, or show the clients ways to save money on their other advertising that they can plough into their radio advertising.
What they will notice at first is that when they advertise on radio AND press, their advertising seems to work 5 times harder! Their press ads start to jump out off the page. The customers though remain confused because radio works in the VISUAL part of the mind.
Mike Bersin tells a story of a garden centre that put it’s rise in sales down to the newspaper… but most customers at the checkout could sing their catchy jingle. They were influence by advertising that worked in the VISUAL part of their brain.
It wasn’t just the radio working though. For sure. I noticed the effect once when driving through Hull. Shops that I had heard about on the radio seemed to jump out from the shops around them. Opening a newspaper, the ads jump out of the page when the client is a regular radio user.
A preacher who led a worldwide faith healing ministry was once asked what he would do if he got a headache. They were trying to trick him and make him look silly. John Wimber answered “I would take an asprin and say a prayer… and whichever worked first I would praise God for it!”
Your advertising should not be a matter of faith, it should be a matter of tried and tested principles… It’s an investment that you expect to give you a return. But, like a prayer and an asprin, radio and press work very effectively together.
Some people want to “test” radio. OK, let me tell you now… radio works. What doesn’t work is trying to advertise a product with no benefits to the listener. You are not testing radio, you are testing your offer, or product against the listener’s needs and wants. If you want to really see powerful advertising have a compelling offer and use a combination of press and radio. Press is really good at getting details across, radio is amazing at emotion or using the listeners imagination to “test drive” the product. The two working together can be amazing. I’ve had clients tell me that their press adverts work two or three times harder when combined with radio. There are things you can do to free up budget to help fund your radio. For example a half page press ad is about 75% as effective as a full page. So you can save money without losing much! And combining with press more than makes up for the 25% loss.
Use your press in a way that reflects the radio campaign, and use print to get over more complex visuals or information. (Like phone numbers!)
Use radio creatively, a good radio ad CAN entertain, but that should never be the primary purpose. Make sure you tell people how you want them to respond, and give them a compelling reason to do so.
Use both media and make sure you make it as easy as possible for people to business with you.