TV introduced me to the Huxtubles and the Seavers but radio introduced me to Frank Sinatra, Bob Schneider, Isaac Pearlman and Lucinda Williams. If magazines inform me of what happened last week or month, radio lets me know what is happening now or tonight. And if the Internet or newspapers help me find the best local deals in town then radio reminds me of where those deals are on my way into town.
When I was a kid the radio literally put the spring in my step, taught me about attitude and the idea of cool. You know I never ran out and got a perm because Kirk Cameron was rocking one on “Growing Pains” but I did consciously grow my hair to shoulder length to emulate the grunge bands of the 90’s. Where on the one hand I idolized Van Morrison after hearing him on the radio, I bought nearly all his albums, on the other hand I truly despise Richard Marx and Michael Bolton although they often share the same dial position. Van Halen’s “Jump” or “Panama” had me doing cartwheels around my house while Sarah McLoughlin makes me want to find a quite place to reflect and sob myself to sleep. I do have a point here. Advertisers need to rethink how they are placing their ads on radio because there is a huge opportunity to vastly improve.
Branding by Musician Rather than Genre aka Contextual placements
What If an advertiser was able to match a specific musician or band with the right brand? That could be a potentially powerful sales tool. Think about Sarah McLachlan Hour sponsored by Kleenex, Prozac, the Yankee Candle Company, Calgon, Carnival Cruise line or some decadent chocolate brand. I mean if the mood is already set so why not go for it.
Let’s try another one. Frank Sinatra hour sponsored by Jack Daniel’s (his drink of choice), the Las Vegas Tourism Council, Blood Center of New York (I’ve got you under my skin) and Jet Blue (Fly me to the Moon).
I don’t know how difficult it would be to create a rock block and then solicit targeted brands but I do know that “Get the Led Out” and “Get the Dead Out” exist and to me have huge potential partners. There is a big difference between Michael Bublé and Frank Sinatra in terms of popularity and admiration. You might hear them both on the same station but it doesn’t mean they both have the same wattage, audience or ability to influence. Today’s ad buys target by radio format and would likely run against both artists and that is not necessarily a bad thing but knowing the connection between Jack Daniel’s and Frank why would you waste your money on Bublé?
Rihanna has the number one hit on the pop charts this week, wouldn’t it make sense for campaigns she has endorsed to make sure they are running adjacent to her songs? If Gucci, Cover Girl and Miss Bisou all thought she was the right pitch person haven’t they already voted for the brand association and could further their goal by this sort of contextual placement? But perhaps radio wasn’t part of the media buy for these brands? It would seem strange that the media that made their brand promoter famous would be left off.
And what about a Got Milk ad following a Dunkin Donuts ad or a local chiropractor following the new spot from the local ski resort? Just saying the possibilities are truly endless.