Marketing Radio

An oxymoron?

My feeling is you have to deal with reality as it is, but not accept it as permanent. I’m sorry, but I just don’t believe there is any reason to give up.” *

It’s actually difficult to remember a radio station with sustained external marketing.

I worked for VIACOM when you not only produced a real TV spot, you also bought at least 350 points on TV a week for at least 10 weeks in one 12-week Book to expose it.

Fig always told me, “If you can’t dominate, don’t bother.”

But that was 20 years ago. No radio station has a budget like that anymore.

Today, great spots don’t always run on TV. Sometimes, the best “TV” spots find huge audiences on YouTube and spread virally.

Like this one…

Note: It’s 5 minutes and 12 seconds long, not exactly made for primetime TV.

And, it was released only a couple of weeks ago and has already been watched by more than 1.7 million people on YouTube alone.

Remember The Force, Volkswagen’s spot first aired during the Super Bowl? It’s still getting national TV primetime exposure. VW’s still spending money to air it. And it’s now also been watched on YouTube by almost 44 million people.

Today, if your spot is compelling enough, you don’t have to spend tens of millions of dollars on national TV (though I still think TV is the most effective way to reach the mass audience with impact). You could spend more on the creation and production of the spot, couldn’t you?

I understand that no single radio station has the resources to produce a spot this entertaining.

But how about Radio, with a capital “R”?

Why can’t your NAB fees and dues go into hiring someone brilliant to produce something wildly entertaining about Radio?

Why can’t each of the major radio companies write a large check that would go into a production pool to create something this compelling? It would be a fraction of what each company should spend marketing their radio stations.

Why wouldn’t radio owners and operators be demanding something that challenges all those negative perceptions created by Pandora, Spotify, and Sirius?

The only reason I can think of is they don’t believe marketing works, that it’s not worth the money.

Which seems strange for a medium dependent upon selling the concept of marketing to others…


*See the full quote and the author on the Home page of this website.