Since its inception, radio and radio advertising has become an integral part of our culture. In some way, it touches the lives of almost everyone, every day. Radio, as a medium, offers a form of entertainment that attracts listeners while they are working, traveling, relaxing or doing almost anything. A farmer, for example, may listen to the radio while he is having breakfast or plowing his field. People driving to work often listen to the radio. Radio offers information such as: news, weather reports, traffic conditions, advertising and music for your listening pleasure.
What Are Some of the Good Things About Radio?
Radio is a relatively inexpensive way of reaching people. It has often been called the “theater of the mind” because voices or sounds can be used to create moods or images that if crested by visual effects would be impossible to afford.
You can also negotiate rates for your commercials, or even barter. Stations are often looking for prizes they can give away to listeners, so it’s possible to get full commercial credit for the product or service you offer.
Advantages to radio advertising include:
The ability to easily change and update scripts are paramount to radio broadcasting, since news stories can and often do happen live.
Radio is a personal advertising medium. Station personalities have a good rapport with their listeners. If a radio personality announces your commercial, it’s almost an implied endorsement.
Radio is also a way to support your printed advertising. You can say in your commercial, “See our ad in the Sunday Times,” which makes your message twice as effective.
What are Some Limitations to Radio Advertising?
Radio advertising is not without its disadvantages too, such as:
You can’t review a radio commercial. Once it plays, its gone. If you didn’t catch all the message, you can’t go back and hear it again.
Since there are a lot of radio stations, the total listening audience for any one station is just a piece of a much larger whole. That’s why it’s important to know what stations your customers and prospects probably listen to. Therefore, most of the time, you’ll have to buy time on several radio stations to reach the market you are after.
People don’t listen to the radio all the time…only during certain times of day. So, it’s important to know when your customers or prospects are listening. For example, if you want to reach a large portion of your audience by advertising during the morning farm report, you’ll have to specify that time period to the radio station when you buy the time.
One of the most popular times to reach people is during Drive Times (from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.) It’s called that because most people are going to or from work during this period, and because most people listen to their radio when they drive. Unfortunately, radio stations know that this is a favorite time to advertise, so commercial costs are much higher during this time.
Radio as a broadcasting medium, can effectively sell an image…or one or two ideas at the most. It is not, however, a detailed medium…and is a poor place for prices and telephone numbers.
Radio listeners increase in the spring and summer, contrary to television audiences that increase in the fall and winter and decrease in the summer. This is an important aspect to consider when you are choosing advertising media.