CEO, Radio City,
Music Broadcast Pvt. Ltd
The radio campaign for Rin Advanced’s ‘Scratch Card’ puts a humorous twist on popular dialogues from classic Indian cinema. The three spots bring out the core idea of “scratching/scrubbing” (that is, the action of using the scratch card) extremely well.
The spots have a certain old-world charm, which is likely to ring a bell with the end-consumer of the product, that is, housewives.
Trends and issues
• Radio now offers options beyond plain product promotions. Radio spots and contests now include value-added propositions such as content integration, brands woven in the RJ’s (radio jockey) script and ground activation.
• Unique properties specific to radio work better.
We recently structured and rolled ut an “activations” campaign with Cadbury India for their new product—Cadbury Éclairs Crunch—in Mumbai, Delhi and Ahmedabad.
Innovative activation-led solutions customized to address the advertiser’s specific business needs ensure direct quality interface with their core target group.
This is on the upswing and as radio branches out beyond the airwaves with on-ground activation, it only goes higher up the value chain of benefits—both to the listener and the advertiser.
National sales head, Fever 104 FM,
HT Media Ltd
Star World creatives for teleserial ‘Desperate Housewives’ involved suggestive dialogues and caught everyone’s imagination. HBO’s creative for the movie ‘Snakes on the Plane’ (2006) made effective use of sound to convey the theme. Axe’s latest ‘Sponge Bar’ ad made an impact with its witty execution. In the past, Close Up, with the use of a catchy retro jingle (“Kya Aap Close Up Kartein Hai?”), Amaron Batteries, with its humorous ads and ICICI Prudential, through the character of Chintamani, made for memorable some radio ads.
Trends and issues
• Radio in India is still at a nascent stage, contributing roughly 3% of the total advertising pie. However, with the release of radio currencies such as Radio Audience Measurement, the accountability of the medium is on the rise. And that makes radio in India a sunrise industry with increased advertising spends. Historically, radio has not been considered a primary source of communication by advertisers, owing to its ambient nature. Hence, the medium was often taken for granted, not thought of too deeply.
• Radio has advantages yet to be exploited. It requires minimal production time, which makes this medium very cost- and time-effective. It also leaves the recipient to paint his own picture of the communication. And with expected growth of out-of-home radio listenership, the immediacy of the call to action will be maximum in the case of radio when compared with television or press.
• Radio provides an ideal platform for sonic branding. While brands Britannia and Airtel have successfully created an aura of sonic branding on television, there’s scope for sonic branding innovations on radio as well. With the third phase of licensing all set to be rolled out in 2008, the best of creative advertising on radio is yet to come.
(Mint is published by HT Media Ltd, which owns the operator of Fever 104 radio station.)
Priti Nair Chakravarthy,
National creative director,
Two of the outstanding ones I can remember are Colgate toothpaste’s ‘Talk to Me’ campaign and Lexi Pens’ ‘What a Pen’ ad. The fact is that there is nothing great being done on radio.
Trends and issues
• Radio is a medium that’s most difficult to create advertising for. To hold the attention of the listener minus one sense (the visual medium), and that too when you are interrupting his entertainment… God bless you! Unfortunately, radio is not explored or exploited the way it should be. The need to be disruptive on radio is far bigger, since the programming of channels is so similar.
• Most people choose the lazy way out and adapt the voice-over of the (television ad) film straight for the radio. In such cases, I feel that the opportunity is gone.
• Creative should push the bar on radio, but I also think radio channels have to seriously look at their programming to make it distinctive, so that the importance that an advertiser puts on the medium goes up.
CEO, Red FM, Red FM Digital Radio (Mumbai) Broadcasting Ltd
Nothing comes to mind.
Trends and issues
• Radio ads, specifically jingles, began as a way for marketers to embed the brand in the minds of listeners with an audio cue. This helped brands create the media multiplier effect at a low cost. But radio advertising is moving beyond ads and jingles to integration, interactivity and innovations that establish radio as an effective medium in its own right, and not just a media multiplier.
• Brands are exploiting synergies with radio properties such as Fevicol’s association with a property on radio. They are even integrating into a radio station’s branding. For an energy conservation campaign with Philips brand, we customized the station jingle. So “Red FM, Red FM, Bajaate Raho” became “Philips Ke Sang, Philips Ke Sang, Bijli Bachaate Raho”, sung to the same tune. So it’s not even just about integration any more, but “seamless integration”. Brands and agencies are definitely waking up to the possibilities of radio—it’s not just “live”, it’s “alive”.
• We would like to see radio form part of the plan at the creative brief stage, and for brand campaigns to include “radio” ideas instead of the medium being forced to extend the print/TV communication. This is critical if the share of radio in ad expenditure has to grow to healthier levels.
President, Optimum Media Solutions, media arm of Mudra Group
A complete day block on Radio Mirchi (all stations) on Children’s Day for Reliance Child Plan (Reliance Life Insurance).
Integrating brand message with content (RJ talk and audience participation) by creating hype around the brand ambassador. An example is Jyothika’s (a Tamil film actor) impending wedding and connecting this with RmKV’s silk wedding saris in Chennai.
Trends and issues
• In most large markets there is not much to choose from among different stations in terms of programming mix, audience profiles and listenership levels. Low content differentiation has led to low loyalty among listeners. Hence, stickiness is a key issue. Listeners switch the moment an ad break is announced. In order to keep the audiences on, programmes with back-to-back songs are now coming up. Alternatively, stations are doing periodic contests and promotions with huge cash prizes in order to bribe viewers to stay on. From the advertisers’ point of view, a lot of stations are replaceable with one another, and no one station gives adequate assured viewers. Since most stations target similar broad-based audiences and, hence, have similar listener profiles, sharp targeting of audiences through radio, maximizing focused reach while minimizing spillover, is still an issue.
• The quality of radio ads is improving. From adapting TV/print ads to radio through just playing audio tracks of commercials or regular brand jingles, there is greater focus on creating ads that do justice to the unique characteristics of the medium (passive listenership, continuous presence in the background, intimate and personal nature of the medium, topical and local relevance). There is an increasing trend of weaving brand messages into content, through RJ mentions, contests, studio guests/experts etc. that capitalize on the unique opportunities that radio provides.