by Donovan Dillon Contributor
Posted on October 21, 2008 17:34 PM
By Karl Woolfenden
Ad Giants Contributor
From the consumer’s point of view, the same message, presented in different media, can take on a very different skew or orientation.
As a medium, TV is perhaps the most widely viewed and the easiest to understand. It has a status and a reach that people recognize and value. But it is, by its nature, a long way from most people’s daily lives and is largely inaccessible to smaller advertisers. It is a celebrity world populated by big brands with big budgets, virtually inaccessible to the little guy. Getting your business, product, or service onto television is seen to be more of a thrill (a very expensive thrill) than being on the radio - it’s a more glamorous place!
Billboards, with their “quick-hit” fixed images, tend to work by proclaiming rather than involving. The advertiser has only a very limited amount of time (about 8 seconds) to catch the eye and the imagination of the viewer. And like TV, billboards have a different orientation from radio. They originate from a faraway place, and are displayed on a scale that is much larger than life.
Newspapers and Magazines, and now Online, although they vary enormously, all share the inherent disadvantage of placing distance between the writer and the reader. Anyone who has ever written a memo or an email knows that while the written word has authority, it maintains a distance.
By contrast, radio is immediate, it communicates to listeners in real time and on their terms - it is not superior to them, it is similar to them. It is the “same size” as them. This is of tremendous benefit to advertisers who want to forge a close link between their brand and the consumer.
How People Listen
Radio listenership is, above all, a personal experience. Research shows that radio listeners tend to be in their own personal space, listening to the station of their choice, and they don’t tend to share the experience with other people. Listeners tend not to know or care what their friends listen to, and radio is much less discussed than TV, which is a much more shared experience given the prominence, proximity and priority it enjoys in people’s living rooms.
Because radio exists in real time, the prevailing mood of the listeners will change during the day. In the morning, radio is about get-up-and-go. At mid-day, it is about companionship. And in the evening, most listeners look to radio to help them relax. The advertiser who taps into this has much to gain.