PRIME TIME NOT SO PRIME written by ‘Leke Lawal

Radio as a tool for ads

“Radio is three fifths as effective as TV, but only one seventh of the cost. So radio can be much more cost- effective medium than television for advertising purpose, if it is used correctly” MILWARD BROWN
The level of sensitivity for radio advertisement is on the rise, today the yearning and expectation now come from the client, such that if they do not see a thorough marketing document or they’ll presume you barely know your onion if you don’t not include in your strategy how you hope to target the market via the radio medium. Radio advertising is considerably more affordable than any other form, compared to other traditional advertising media- television, newspapers and magazines- radio advertising reaches the target audience at low cost.
The early hours of the morning when you are driving to work with your family, your wife and your kids, the evening from 5pm to 7:30pm, constitutes the prime time for radio advertisement but it is not so for other forms of advertisement, for instance the billboard is considered to be the best from of advertisement but I say that that is relevant to product category and target audience analysis; it is said to circulate around the market and the market circulates around it with little or no audience selectivity, this makes it standout, if you are to disregard cost.

Prime time for television is quite peculiar as well, for terrestrial television the evening is strategic, from about 6pm to 10pm. This time families get together to review their day and catch up on house chores for the kids and the mother. If you have a workaholic father or a career oriented mother, the mix is incomplete, that is why these days the strategy is directed at capturing the attention for the children. It is assumed that what the children want they sing into the ears of their parents until they get it. That kills the brief. Paid television has its own specialty, for the CNNs of this world and the Larry kings [now Piers Morgan’s], their target market is quite peculiar as they target the AA class, top government functionaries, high net worth individual (HNIs) and blue-chip companies, but for time difference which makes us multitask while we do our job we also want to follow the trend and know what’s trending beyond boarders.

The cost of radio advertising depends on a number of factors, the main ones being, the radio station, which is determined by the number of listeners, the length of the advert, time of the day, length of campaign, campaign frequency, the type of advertising.
Why the radio medium is remarkable amongst other forms is because of its relatively cheap and almost instantly gratifying effects it has, especially if the four colours of the radio are employed to bring about maximum effect, these four colours of the radio are mental effects , they are abnormally larger than life, must be convincingly used to bring about desired results and must not be too much, they are;

• The human voice: the human voice is very necessary to paint a vivid effect in the mind of the target, that is why most of the time, a celebrity’s voice is employed to endorse a brand , the familiarity and trust that is associated with it creates effect.

• Music is another indispensable factor that must not be left out. It is meant to serenade the mind of the target and remove boredom while adding spice to creativity.

• Sound effects, apart from music sound effects [SFX] must be employed as well to alter moods and wet imagination.

• Lastly the mystery of dignified fundamental silence, for those who believe there is communication in silence, the mental effect is engaging and absorbing. Silence should be employed to make targets think for themselves.

Having explained how to create engaging adverts on the radio to get desired results, another thing that gets top of the mid recall is positioning. The Nigerian market is flooded with so many brands that cry for attention and want to hit our face. Basically they all want to be on Prime Time else no positioning for them. For some of them, I wonder why they do not employ some judo marketing skills because considering time belt and rush hour, you go to place an advert for two competing brands say Turbo King and Guinness Stout back to back, the brand that is at the retentive stage and has the largest share of the market wins the day. It is okay to want to be perceived as a brand that can compete in the fiercely, highly intense, ego bolstering market but must we make all our advert spending count for nothing? It is quite out of strategy to juxtapose a Mimi noodles brand beside an Indomie noodles brand the former’s image fades under because of the presence of the latter on the scene.

It becomes a reasonable strategy to go for the less flooded belt on the radio as this will reduce advertising spending and make for a conspicuous brand positioning. This strategy is often times neglected because you might say your target audience does not listen to the radio at that moment. But if you agree with me that the bottom line of any marketing campaign is to increase brand equity, then this strategy of stirring troubled waters must be neglected.
Finally, if you are on the brink of being able afford radio advertising, consider these cost saving tips;

• Buy at the last minute: sometimes advertisers pull out at the last minute, perhaps due to a last minute change of heart or their brand is not quite ready. This leaves advertising space that must be filled immediately, so sales representatives are much receptive to price negotiations.

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