Radio ad industry pokes fun at adtech to woo brands

radioRadio advertising might have been around for nearly 100 years but – according to a new industry-backed campaign, at least – it is just as effective as anything that the tech giants can offer brands and in many cases a lot less hassle.

A new campaign from the Radiocentre parodies the marketing hype used by companies such as Apple and Samsung for new tech launches to show that radio is the data-driven medium that advertisers should look to for the future.

Devised by The & Partnership, the activity will include outdoor, social media, online ads, and – of course – radio, featuring the call to action “See Radio Differently”.

The ads highlight the benefits of the medium in the style of a tech launch, while showing the many advantages commercial radio has over other, newer media technologies.

In one of the radio spots, called ‘Cookies’, the narrator appears to be introducing an exciting new piece of tech when he is interrupted by an automated voice saying “accept cookies”.

The spot ends with the narrator saying: “Welcome to radio, advertising that’s cookie free”. Another ad, ‘Influencer’, hears the narrator describe radio as the “original influencer, with 36 million real followers”.

The outdoor campaign describes radio in one execution as “Unskippable. Unblockable. Unbeatable”, adding: “Brands cut through with radio advertising”. Another outdoor ad in the series says: “This influencer has 36 million followers” with the line: “Radio, the influencer advertisers can trust.”

The radio ads will run 30, 20, and 10-second spots across the commercial radio network and launch this week.

According to Radiocentre figures, the medium’s popularity is stronger than ever, with 90% of the population tuning into radio each week and 66% of the UK population listening to more than 13 hours of commercial radio per week.

Commercial radio took a record total of £713.3m in ad revenue in 2018, breaking the previous 2017 record of £679.2m, according to figures released by the industry body earlier this year. The 5.1% increase year-on-year marks the third consecutive year of record-breaking revenues for the medium.

Radiocentre client director Lucy Barrett said: “Because it has been around a lot longer than the newer ad tech, people don’t always appreciate what an incredible medium radio is. If radio was invented as a new piece of technology today, we would all be in awe of its reach, engagement, and ad effectiveness. This campaign is designed to help advertisers imagine just that.”

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