Radio advertising has its own wonderful history and truly long journey. It emerged soon after radio became a medium of mass communication in India. Today Radio is widely popular across the rural and urban area with a vast network of government and private Radio stations. All India Radio being the oldest player has its own grace and history. Since its inception in 1927, All India Radio has seen various ups and downs with its development and transformation over the years. Today, like other popular Radio stations (Radio City, Radio Mirchi, Red FM, Big FM, Radio Nasha, Radio FM) they have also started broadcasting with FM channels. This gives a wide range for the radio advertiser to choose from.
Radio always had its own unique personality like any other popular media be it television, print. Radio lost its appeal during the surge of television in India. With the start of FM radio in 2001, Radio regained its popularity that was diminishing. Radio also took a big turn with the privatization of radio in India. Since then Radio advertising has become more popular among the advertisers. Like television and print, it has also proved to be an effective medium for brand building and advertising.
Types of Radio Advertising
If you try to recall a Radio ad, you will get many different impressions in your mind; some music, song, sound effect, voice of a public figure, someone’s experience, or RJ’s message. These impressions represent different types of techniques used for Radio ads.
Just look at some of them:
Live on Air
This type of advertising solely depends upon the Radio anchor or RJ. The person reads the advertisement live while presenting the program. The popularity and fan following determines the impact of advertisement on the listeners. In India, if we talk about the private Radio channels there are a number of RJs who are not less than any celebrity. If they do the endorsement, it has a wider appeal.
The other type of advertisement is one of the oldest kind of advertisement type. Sponsoring a program or a part of a program. This type of advertising is of subtle type, which appears just before the program or before/after any part of program. It has relatively more appeal because usually the listeners ignore the regular ads of similar nature. This subtle kind of advertising is surely a different option to choose.
Testimonial ads are usually more real as the listener can relate easily to the person giving the feedback for a particular product or service. Usually a user is a person who shares his/her experience in the commercial making it more trustworthy.
Radio Jingle based Ads
Few ads are only sound, music and jingle based. They are quite popular and receive good response. Some of the jingles are so popular that they become identity of the specific brand.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Radio Advertising
Let us start with the pros of the Radio advertising that has made it an effective marketing tool for decades.
Light on your Pocket
Radio advertisement is cheaper than print or television media. Pricing depends upon the time slot and duration of ad;still it is less expensive than other major mediums. It encourages even the smaller players to advertise.
Focused Target Group
Radio advertising allows you to advertise in the selected station, which aptly suits your advertising needs. Radio stations often cater to specific market segment and demographics, and advertisers can use these stations to reach that target group segment. So advertising through the Radio can help you take your advertisement to its target group.
Mobility of the Medium
Radio being a compact and versatile medium, easy to carry anywhere, attracts specific type of advertising. It can be tuned in with mobile, car audio system, small watch etc. making it a versatile medium. This convenience increases the listenership that often leads to better outcomes for the advertising.
More Impact on the Target Group
People often listen to a particular Radio channel. This gives an advantage to advertisers; essentially, they reach out to same people, which can lead to conversion.
When you plan to advertise with radio, you do not need to plan in advance.Advertisement creation for radio is usually fast, and easy to execute. Not only that, because of easy execution and quick turnaround any changes can be easily accommodated making this medium highly adaptable.
Bonus and Freebies
If you are a regular advertiser with a Radio-station, you can get other benefits too like mentioning your brand by the RJs. This comes as bonus.
Small Market Share
Though Radio is very popular among people of India, still it has only 4% of the market share. It is a good advertising option for advertiser groups, but sometimes it does not match with the big advertisers’ requirements.
Short time Span
Radio ads are often broadcasted for few seconds, 15-30 seconds on an average. Listener can often miss if they are not focused in that particular moment due to the short span of Radio advertisement.
Acts as Companion
Radio is often used to provide company, especially if the listener is on move, alone at home or doing something engaging. Radio becomes a habit, a virtual companion for the listener. If such is the case, s/he seldom concentrates on the ads.
Too many Ads
Sometimes too many ads are broadcasted in one particular time period (prime time)or during a popular program. Because of too many ads, the impact is likely to get affected as the chances that the listener will remember them are very low.
Less Permanent in Nature
Radio ads are less permanent in nature in the absence of visuals; people tend to forget them soon after they listen to them. On top of that it cannot be saved easily like print media ads or TV ads (with the help of DVR) for future. If the listener missed any important part of the ad, like the phone number, location, or any other important detail, they have to wait until the next broadcast.
Not suitable for certain ads
Sometimes products need demonstration, which often requires visuals to fully explain their function and utility. Here Radio advertisement fails to produce the desired effect.
Keeping in view the growing need of the radio advertising in India, it is expected to go a long way.