Wednesday, 31 March 2010

"Classic Tracks and Today's Best Shaving..."

On the plane back from the conference I was speaking at in Lisbon last week, I opened the locally printed version of The Daily Mail (it was the only paper they had and not my regular choice of paper... honest!) and I came across this ad.

Nice to see a bit of marketing for radio station, even if it is pretty basic. These days it’s kinda rare to see any radio station running press ads!!

I actually went online to Central FM and tuned in. (Shame the positioning statement on the website doesn’t match the marketing however...)

I listened for 10 minutes out of interest... and the DJ was doing a promotion for a device that extends the life of your razor blade. Basically, if you use this device, apparently you can get over 100 shaves from just 1 blade. It was nice to see they’d extended the activity online, and had pictures of the DJ’s and a count of how many shaves they’d had from just 1 blade each etc.

But blimey... this link went on forever and ever, and I felt like I was listening to a TV shopping channel. “Undue prominence”? Ofcom would have had a field day if it was in the UK!

From what started out as a bit of interesting promotional content that I was actually genuinely intrigued about, I ended up hating the brand and never wanting to hear about it again, and promising to myself to grow a beard in protest.

Moral of the story... Don’t think you’re doing a favour for your clients by overselling their product or brand. It’s a turn off and actually does more damage than good.

By the way Central FM, there are far better records by The Hoosiers to play than Cops and Robbers! :-)


Adam Bowie said...

That strapline for Central FM seems familiar in some way...

Nik Goodman said...

Yes - it does ring a distant bell somewhere in the back of my mind too. Be sure to let me know when you remember :-)

Anonymous said...

I sympathise with Central FM's jock. I too work in a country where radio advertising regulations barely exist and management/marketing are more than happy to 'wh0re out' the radio station for cash.

If the presenter in question is in the same situation as I am, he/she is probably forced to drone on about a client's product for a ridiculously long period of time - despite the fact he/she would probably prefer to deliver the sell in a 'bin it after a minute' way.

My station manager sells 20 minute segments of airtime to clients and promises them AT LEAST seven minutes of speech regarding their product in that time.

Add up those seven minutes of speech, the time it takes to play two four minute records and a four minute ad-break and you already have 19 minutes.

You can try and spread those seven minutes of speech out as much as you want, but the fact is, around the music and ads which also need to be aired, you really can't fit in more than two links, so, your two links HAVE to be 3:30' each.

There's no doubt that it is soul-destroying for a presenter and boring beyond belief to the listener, but unless you want a client, your marketing department and your station manager on your back, you just have to do it. They don't understand what the audience will and will not listen to, it seems.

I really enjoy the blog Nik! Thank you for your enjoyable and ever-inspiring contributions. Keep them coming!