The second ever Radio Audio Week in upon us.
After having the pleasure of attending last years, seminal event, we've decided to take stock of everything that radio provides for our clients and, during the week, we'll be laying out the 'Radio Roadmap' describing exactly what radio advertisers can expect from radio.
Today we're talking resonance. How radio connects with your customers and builds lasting relationships.
The creative idea and the quality of your ad can have a huge impact on its commercial success. Advertising studies (from the IPA as well as our own) show a strong link between creative excellence and effectiveness.
RADIO'S CREATIVE EDGE
One of radio's enduring strengths is that you can listen while doing something else. But with this comes a heightened need to have clear, stand out creative... (According to IPA Touchpoints; 92% of listening is done while listeners are engaged in another activity.) with that in mind you need to be much more efficient with your creative on radio than you would have to be with other traditional advertising mediums.
If you really want to hear what good radio creative sounds like, then you'll want to check out our Radio Advert Archive, where we've been building up a bank of the best (and worst) radio adverts currently airing, along with the thoughts from our own creatives (the guys who write the ads).
For now though, here's what Creative Account Manager Callum Tyler thought about Easy Jet's Advert, which you can listen to below:
Radio is the perfect platform to showcase writing talent. A well-constructed script can pack a real punch and make your ad stand out in a busy ad break. Although there is no one way to approach a radio script, here are some things to consider as you get started:
- Know your spot length. Before you start, be very clear on how much time you have to play with, including any ‘legal’ copy you may be required to include.
- Keep it simple. Be single-minded. Don’t expect your listener to remember complex detail.
- How does your brand speak? Are there any distinctive words, phrases or a distinctive way of speaking synonymous with your brand? If so, you should use them or write in a way that compliments them.
- Don’t overwrite your ad. With radio, you can communicate powerfully with very few words. Silence and a few carefully chosen words can create real impact and make your message easier to recall. That said, a more complex script can reward repeat listening if it’s well-written and well-judged – provided the commercial message remains clear.
The psychological benefits of music and audio are well documented. It's been found to improve moods when shopping, leading to higher than average overall expenditure.
Advertisers can also use the familiarity of a popular song to incite a specific reaction in listeners that aligns with the objective of their ad. Powerful songs can evoke strong emotional responses, and songs can help create a soundtrack to the events unfolding in an ad when lyrics are integrated into the voice over and storyline.
"Using well known music is like using the world’s best short cut. It gets a client on level three almost immediately. You’re quickly getting them to the level of trust, commercial responsibility and actionability that can take years of standard outreach."
- Creative Account Manager, Steffen Armstrong
But while it’s important that ads resonate with listeners, advertisers want their messages to drive sales, especially with the large price tags that can come with using popular music. However, the good news is that popular songs (and artists) deliver a one-two punch: They boost emotive power and can drive significant returns.
In the case of the John Lewis Christmas advert from 2015, Aurora were commissioned to perform a cover of the Oasis song 'Half The World Away'. In 2014, it was Tom Odell covering Real Love and most recently Elbow covered Golden Slumbers. Most recently, the #EltonJohnLewis Christmas Ad - his gift is his song.
The benefits of using a well-known, and probably very expensive, bit of music was twofold:
- People already know it and begin to draw associations almost immediately. People will also have their own experiences with the song and will carry over those thoughts and feelings. (Which can have positive and negative effects.)
- They were able to adapt the popular song to suit the shorter, punchier format of an advert. (And play around with manipulative elements of music theory)
And this is where elements of music theory begin to come into effect. Let's take the 2015 'Man on the Moon' as an example.
Alternating between her full voice and falsetto, Aurora builds up to her higher range in the line ‘I’ve been lost I’ve been found, but I don’t feel down’. She’s backed by piano chords and strings. It’s simple and soft, yet emotionally overwhelming through a mix of minor and major lifts (giving us that rollercoaster of emotions feeling).
More critically, there is always a pause before the final uplifting chorus plays at the artists highest range.
This extends to the choice of voice. When a lot of adverts rely on voice over to deliver important bits of information, you need to make sure that your voice is both consistent with creative and context.
"I can’t over stress the importance of voice casting. No matter how good the writing, how impeccable the sound design, if you get the wrong voice in everything will be ruined."
Radio Audio Week 2019
Radio Audio Week is a cross-industry initiative celebrating the best of UK radio and audio across 6 jam-packed days of conferences, seminars and network events.
With radio's record breaking audience, the coming of age of podcasts and the breakout success of voice technology - we welcome you to the week of the audio revolution.