We've Done Radio

By our Creative Director Neil Cowling. 

Late night. Marketing industry event. A friend introduces me to her colleague - a Marketing Manager.

Friend: “Hey – this is Neil. He makes radio ads.”

Friend’s colleague: “We’ve done radio.”

Walks away.

Ah. Right.

End of conversation.

This guy is so fed up of people not understanding the power of radio he's turned into stone. 

This guy is so fed up of people not understanding the power of radio he's turned into stone. 

You’ve "done radio" huh? I assume you mean it didn’t work for you, so you won't be doing it again. Let me guess:

The brand is too visual? Crap. No decent brand is too visual. If it’s got any sort of emotional value or connection with its consumer, that connection can be expressed in words and sound. What you mean is that you or your creative agency is too visually focused, and not capable of cracking a brief without drawing something. Close your eyes and think again. Or give me 24 hours to prove it.

The creative wasn’t good enough? Pay decent money then. If you’ve booked £100,000 of airtime, don’t get the creative bundled in for free (it’s not really free), or quibble about paying a few hundred/thousand quid extra to get it right. Use specialists who value their work properly. Otherwise, just burn that £100,000, open the window and shout at passers-by.

Radio’s not measurable enough? Oh dear, do you love celebrating getting 0.69% click through rate on your digital banner rather than your standard 0.63%? No, you won’t get that with radio. Sorry. How about a direct response campaign with a text-response mechanism? Running an offer in a test area and seeing how quickly it sells out? Or even, blow me, consistently building your brand over the medium term with brilliant, memorable audio creative and a single-minded, perfectly written message.

No-one listens to radio any more? Don’t get me started. Google Radiocentre and read the stats.

Would you give up on digital if it didn't work first time? No.

So do radio again. Just do it better.

I would have said all this at the time, of course. But he’d already started talking to someone else, and I didn’t think quickly enough. I was also a bit pissed. Next time I’ll do it better.