Radio advertising – smarter than the average bear?

I was listening to Nova this morning on the way to work and it suddenly struck me.  Firstly, it’s been a while since I’ve tuned into 96.9 and the stint in the car made me realise how I’m probably not quite their demographic…  But, more importantly, two examples of advertising caught my ear and got me thinking.

At one point, hosts Merrick, Dools and Monty were tackling a live read for a product and, to be perfectly honest, I now can’t remember what it was because they stumbled through it so noticeably live on air that I was more interested in this fact then the product they were trying to push. 

Why do companies invest in live ad reads and do they provide any tangible benefits from an awareness perspective?  Of course, the production costs would be much lower, as written text is all that’s required (though I reckon you can’t beat a good old self-done catchphrase…“Tell ’em the price, son!”), but does the brand benefit when presenters stutter through the read or miss important wording?

The second moment came as listeners had a chance to win a new laptop.  An Acer laptop.  Have you heard about Acer?  Well, I can assure you they’re simply incredible.  Amazing, in fact.  Forget your iMac or Dell – Acer is where the future of technology lies.

Grand statements?  Perhaps.  But this was the impression the hosts left me with after trying to plug the competition sponsor.  Again, the only thing I took from the experience was how the brand would feel about being portrayed this way on air.  Sure, they want to get the biggest bang for their buck, and repeated mentions of the brand name will certainly help awareness, but there has to be a better way to do it that doesn’t leave the listener feeling sorry for the product from its awkward introduction on air.

As consumers, I’d like to think we’re smarter than that and can tell the difference between an editorial comment and a ‘natural’ sounding advertisement.


One Response to “Radio advertising – smarter than the average bear?”
  1. Tarang says:

    Roger, definitely think that consumers are smart enough to tell the difference. Often, it feels that the presenters are just ‘taking the piss’ when they do live ad reads. I don’t know if anyone else gets the same vibe, but it’s an instance where so-called ‘celebrity’ endorsements, or at least endorsement by someone in the public eye/ear, feel contrived. Also, I don’t know that stuffing up slogans or muttering your way through a radio commercial could possibly convey a positive brand image, let alone bring about a call to action from the consumer.

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