Back in 2016, in a post entitled “Political Advertising: Radio Wins the Vote,” I documented how a local candidate used radio advertising to win a highly contested race for the Washington State House of Representatives.
We’re in another election cycle, and I thought it would be a good time to share a resource that anyone considering investing in mass media advertising would do well to spend some time exploring first. It’s the Radio Advertising Bureau’s website. While much of its content is accessible only by RAB members, a significant amount of information is available to the press and to business owners and marketing professionals.
For example, the Why Radio? section is filled with data, case studies, and research demonstrating the effectiveness of radio in this age of information overload, a dizzying array of platforms, and rampant ad fraud. It’s worth checking out, especially if you want your advertising dollars to generate the greatest return on your investment. At the very least, be sure to download this handy Ten Reasons to Advertise .pdf.
If sound-and-visuals is considered television advertising’s greatest advantage, I would argue that the absence of visuals is one of the unique attributes of radio advertising that makes it so powerful. (You can easily test this theorem by setting your tablet or another portable streaming device on the dashboard of your vehicle and try watching a movie or sports broadcast while you’re driving. I wouldn’t recommend it, but you get the idea.)
Speech is our primary form of communication. Even in an age of texting and emails, when something’s really important, you call the person. That computer you carry around in your pocket, purse, or belt holster also affords you an instant and intimate connection to the people who are important to you. There is no richer form of interpersonal communication than the human voice. Helen Keller, who was both blind and deaf, famously observed that while blindness separates us from things, deafness separates us from people.
Those of us past a certain age remember–and miss–one of radio’s greatest communicators, the legendary Paul Harvey. He understood how to wield the power of human speech better than most, as his listeners and advertisers will affirm. Paul Harvey is gone now, but the medium he used so effectively is still available to advertisers today. It is as close as your local radio stations. No mass medium offers greater reach, frequency, and intimacy than local radio.
You can take that to the bank.