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An Advertiser's Guide to Better Radio Advertising: Tune In to the Power of the Brand Conversation Medium

ISBN: 978-0-470-01292-5
132 pages
May 2005
An Advertiser


There has recently been dramatic growth in the medium of radio. However, advertisers and agencies too often still use radio for its basic tactical abilities, leaving the emotional power of the medium untapped. This book is a practical guide to understanding and exploiting the true power of radio as the ?brand conversation medium?. Combining theory, listener understanding and practical advice, the authors explore the scale and effectiveness of radio advertising, how the medium communicates, it?s role in emerging brand thinking, and best practice for creating better radio advertising. Overviews, summaries, quotations and checklists are featured throughout, as well as case studies from companies in all sectors including Sainsbury?s, British Airways, Carphone Warehouse, BT and the British Government.
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Table of Contents

Foreword by Jo Kenrick ix

How to use this book xi

Acknowledgements xiii

About the authors xv

SECTION 1 The Case for Change 1

1 The Scale of the Medium 3

1.1 The development of commercial radio in the UK 5

1.2 Measurement and growth of the commercial radio audience 8

1.3 Who listens to commercial radio? 11

1.4 Radio’s status as an advertising medium 14

1.5 What does the future hold for commercial radio? 18

1.6 Summary 25

2 The ‘True’ Radio Context 27

2.1 Why and how people listen 29

2.2 Radio’s media attributes 33

2.3 How radio communicates 42

2.4 Effectiveness of the medium 48

2.5 Summary 51

3 The Need for a Different Approach 53

3.1 Why the need for a different approach? 55

3.2 Why does radio advertising have to be creative? 57

3.3 Why aren’t we better at using radio? 60

3.4 The challenges and opportunities of the medium 62

3.5 Summary 65

SECTION 2 Harnessing the True Power of Radio 67

4 What is Advanced Level Creativity? 69

4.1 Effectiveness is a relative term 71

4.2 Three common structural problems 72

4.3 The crucial importance of brand linkage 76

4.4 Realism vs. shooting for the moon 78

4.5 Thinking at campaign level 80

4.6 Summary 80

5 Best Practice Process for Creating Better Radio 83

5.1 Providing the optimum radio brief 85

5.2 Judging good radio ideas 91

5.3 The art of radio production 102

5.4 Branding in sound 111

5.5 Summary 120

6 Measuring Radio’s Effect 121

6.1 Defining the research objectives 123

6.2 The importance of split samples 125

6.3 Where to do the research 126

6.4 When to do the research 128

6.5 Sample sizes 129

6.6 Method and questionnaire 131

6.7 Measuring the short-term sales effects of radio 132

6.8 Measuring the effect of radio sponsorships and promotions 134

6.9 Summary 136

SECTION 3 Thinking about Radio as ‘New Media’ 139

7 The New Challenges Facing Brand Communications 141

7.1 The evolving consumer context 143

7.2 How brand marketing is changing 146

7.3 Dialogue, the new brand driver 148

7.4 Summary 152

8 Radio’s Role in Emerging Brand Thinking 153

8.1 Radio as a brand conversation medium 155

8.2 Harnessing the power of radio for brand conversations 164

8.3 New conversational roles for radio 166

8.4 Summary 170

SECTION 4 The Seven-Step Guide to Better Radio Advertising 171

9 The Seven-Step Guide to Better Radio Advertising 173

Step 1: Define a clear role for radio 175

Step 2: Keep the brief simple 176

Step 3: Ask for the team with radio skills 178

Step 4: Take care over tone 179

Step 5: Use the right judging criteria 181

Step 6: Use preproduction 182

Step 7: Consider using a director 184

Summary 185

SECTION 5 Appendices 187

Appendix 1 The RAB Bus Research Study 189

Appendix 2 Radio Script 191

Appendix 3 Online Radio Ads Track Listing (www.better-radio-advertising.co.uk) 193

References 205

Index 207

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Author Information

Mark Barber
After graduating from the University of Life, Mark spent 18 years as a media planner in a variety of media agencies before joining the Radio Advertising Bureau in 2001. He has been using radio as an advertising medium since 1983, during which time his perspective has moved from audience cost-per-thousands to the communication benefits of the medium.
Mark’s previous contributions to radio literature include Understanding Radio, the Brand Conversation Medium and Radio Advertising Effectiveness for Dummies. In his spare time, he supports Charlton Athletic, is teaching himself to speak Turkish, and entertains his children with bad jokes and poorly executed magic tricks.

Andrew Ingram
Andrew has a broad-based experience in advertising and media. After graduating from Cambridge in 1979, he started commercial life in the advertisement department of the Daily Mail, going on through quantitative research, and qualitative research, and eventually moving into account planning before joining the RAB in 1992.
Andrew’s previous books include Wireless Wisdom and Understanding Radio. He is a regular speaker at media and advertising conferences across the globe. In his spare time, he indulges in daughters and classic cars, and an art project involving old plastic bags in trees.
The authors work together at the Radio Advertising Bureau on a daily basis, helping advertisers and agencies overcome the barriers that are preventing them from using radio advertising more effectively. It is this experience that has informed the development of this book.

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“…a must-read…the perfect source of advice and inspiration for any client, creative or media agency wanting to deliver more effective communications through radio.” (Media Week, 28 June 2005)
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