Mar 14, 2022

‘Rinse And Repeat’ Approach To Radio Ads Is Not The Answer

See the original article by Richard Williams in Mediatel here.

By Richard Williams, Commercial Director at A Million Ads

The vast majority of consumers are annoyed by repetitive ads. Radio listeners tend to highly loyal and should be approached with care by advertisers.

As a long-time advocate of dynamic and creative advertising, Steve Taylor’s recent piece around creative consistency in audio advertising really resonated with me.

The upshot is this: radio listeners are incredibly loyal, meaning repetitive messaging can (and will) cause ad fatigue. More importantly, whacking your radio creative onto other audio channels in a rinse and repeat fashion is not the answer to conversions.

Creative consistency is important, of course, but copy burnout is real. In fact, our research has shown that 77% of consumers are annoyed by repetitive ads – so don’t piss off your loyal listeners.

Current audio consumption – from radio to podcasts – shows that the medium has skyrocketed in popularity due to technological advances. As a result, advertisers need to start thinking about audio as the base of their media strategy, and not just an add-on. Moreover, according to Audacy, audio continues to be the most trusted medium, granting advertisers an incomparable space to influence listeners.

Getting messaging right

While many forms of advertising can be intrusive, audio allows brand messaging to be a part of the moment, rather than disrupting it. This is why variation in copy is so vital, so users aren’t bombarded with repetitive messaging when they are trying to listen to their favourite content.

Dynamic audio is a method that allows brands to tap into contextual data points such as time of day, the weather or the listener’s personal preferences. For instance, brands could use upcoming holiday celebrations such as Easter to promote gifts or experiences. This context develops further engagement, increasing brand awareness and unlocking higher conversion rates.

Critically, dynamic audio can be used to create a series of ads so a consumer doesn’t hear the same messaging twice. This allows a brand to tell a story in a way that reduces ad fatigue. Indeed, rotating lines depending on the number of ad exposures has been a powerful tool during the pandemic, allowing advertisers to adapt lines according to the latest updates and changes.

Advertisers should take learnings from the flexibility required during the pandemic, and develop changing, in-the-moment messaging as opposed to relying on “held copy”.

Combining with other channels

The beauty of audio is that it can be successfully combined with other channels such as video and DOOH, creating an even more impactful experience. For instance, brands can utilise clickable banner ads that feature a brand’s logo or a CTA while the audio ad is playing. This in turn makes it easier for users to access further information about the product or service through the ad.

In Taylor’s piece he details how audio ads have an instant ‘visual transfer’ into their TV creative. And as he rightly points out, McDonald’s with its iconic and familiar slogan is a brand who understands the medium and plays to its strengths.

Just Eat is another brand that does this well, with its familiar jingle highlighting the sonic branding when used in ads on the radio. This allows listeners to visually transfer back to the TV or video ads they have seen. Additional elements such as voiceover and music also work to link the creatives together across platforms. By using musical elements and jingles, these brands maintain consumer awareness without repetitive generic copy.

The sky’s the limit

The opportunities in audio are endless and there has never been a better time to capitalise on this. With millions of consumers tuning in to their favourite podcasts and streaming music, there’s no doubt that 2022 will be a banner year for audio.

However, it is crucial for brands to develop a strong sonic brand without using repetitive ad copy.

Audio is a powerhouse medium; it’s time we give it the attention it deserves.

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