As you may have read Vizeum have recently launched their ‘The S.C.I.E.N.C.E Of Brand Growth’ research, in conjunction with Dr Jack Lewis (who worked with us on our Emotional Multiplier research) which aims to help clients understand how they could improve the efficacy of their communications and avoid wasting billions of pounds.
Vizeum’s research concluded with seven key principles to keep in mind when creating communications and it’s encouraging to see how much overlap with our work there is and how radio can help ensure money doesn’t go to waste:
The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) unveils its top ten radio advertisements as scored by the listeners. Autoglass have topped the rankings for the most effective ad in the first half of 2013 beating off competition from the likes of Homebase and Confused.com.
The Autoglass campaign, created by Radioville and with media by Starcom Mediavest, beat out 23 other brands to the top spot for effective creativity.
Michael Tull, Insight Manager at RAB commented: “The latest radioGAUGE analysis supports the findings from the RAB’s ‘Turning Art Into Science’ study – that is, when it comes to effective radio advertising, consistency is king! Advertisers should capitalise on this learning by being creative with consistency, exploiting relevant audio cues that can be used to build a brand’s audio identity and enhance campaign results.”
Here at the RAB the IPA’s ‘The Long and Short of It’ publication has been well-thumbed in recent weeks and for good reason too. It’s essential reading for anybody working in advertising to help understand how they can get the best out of their media budget. For this blog entry I’m going to focus on just one interesting element from the 82 page report – the importance of brand response campaigns.
Whilst many of you may have been enjoying a summer holiday in the last week or so I’ve had my own fun listening to the 552 radio ads that we’ve measured on radioGAUGE since 2008 and tagging each one by the presence (or otherwise), and type of, call to action included.
Last week PRS for Music revealed that songwriters received royalties of nearly £2m from their tracks being used in radio advertising. However, using a piece of music (‘sync’) in adverts doesn’t just have a positive impact on the songwriters’ bank balances, it can also reap dividends for the advertisers themselves.
In our latest piece of research, Turning Art Into Science we found that music featured in radio ads when linked with TV is the second most effective creative feature for successful radio campaigns. Therefore it’s no surprise that 14 of the 20 top ‘sync’ advertisers have used radio integrating music with their TV advertising. By establishing strong associations between a particular piece of music and a brand – hands up anybody else who refers to “Eliza’s Aria” as the “Lloyds music” – radio can be an effective complement to a television campaign and cost-efficiently extend brand presence.
The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) unveils its top ten radio advertisements as scored by the listeners. The Department of Health have topped the rankings for the most effective creative in the second half of 2012 with their Stoptober campaign, beating off competition from the likes of British Gas and Procter & Gamble.
The Stoptober campaign, created by Dare and with media by M4C, beat out 29 other brands to the top spot for creativity.
Simon Redican, Managing Director at RAB commented: “The latest radioGAUGE analysis shows that overall creative scores from the second half of 2012 improved by over 3% in comparison to the same period in 2011 (Source: RAB/radioGAUGE). Together with an improved UK performance in major awards such as Cannes and D&AD it is further evidence that the RAB’s campaign to improve creative standards on radio is bearing fruit. Additionally, our Top 20 advertisers increased their investment 29% YOY (Source: Nielsen, Jan-Dec 2012) which suggests a strategic commitment to the medium, another vital ingredient in ensuring strong creative performance.”
1. STOPTOBER (Creative by Dare ; Media by M4C)
The Stoptober campaign successfully avoids sounding like the Government preaching to the masses by using real people to deliver their message on the radio. By focusing on the positives of giving up smoking (backed with catchy, whistle-along music) and following these people’s stories in different executions across the campaign helped listeners to connect and empathise with those attempting to participate in Stoptober.
2. BRITISH GAS (Creative by CHI & Partners; Media by Carat)
Who are you going to call when you’ve got a problem that needs fixing? No, not Ghostbusters but the British Gas Team. They may not be able to help you get rid of ‘Gozer the Gozerian’ but by the sound of it they can do pretty much everything else. Using the A Team music (a break away from their established creative construct) British Gas has created an ad that successfully involves and informs the listener to achieve cut-through for a service that they may have previously been overlooked.
3. FAIRY LIQUID (Creative by Grey London; Media by Starcom MediaVest & ZenithOptimedia)
As the ‘90s TV programme attested, kids can say the funniest things – like the time I once mispronounced Prix when trying to tell my parents that the Formula 1 was on the TV. Leaving my innocent mistakes aside, parent and child conversations can often bring out the weird, wonderful and inquisitive thoughts whirring around inside a child’s mind. Fairy has successfully mined this territory to appeal directly to parents and remind them exactly why they should always be picking Fairy Liquid off the shelf.
4. TWININGS (Creative by AMV BBDO; Media by ZenithOptimedia)
A soothing voiceover coupled with their established use of Charlene Soraia’s cover of The Calling help bring to life the sensual side of a cup of Twinings tea delivering a temporary haven away from the morning rush. A superb example of a campaign that achieves strong cut through in the ad break whilst also tonally portraying the brand in exactly the right light.
5. PG TIPS (Creative by Mother; Media by Mindshare)
Millions of people cannot function until they’ve had that first cup of tea of the day (the daily rush to the kettles in the RAB office attests to this). In contrast to the sensuality of Twinings, PG Tips explores this different perspective on the tea-drinking experience by bringing it perfectly to life with an added touch of humour provided by Johnny Vegas & Monkey.
6. LLOYDS TSB (Creative by RKCR/Y&R; Media by MEC)
Lloyds TSB have done it once again. On this occasion, Matthew Rhys takes over the voiceover duties from Julie Walters when it comes to business but the music and the slogan still ensure you know exactly who it is and what they have to offer.
7. ASDA (Creative by Saatchi’s & Saatchi’s; Media by Carat)
As our MD Simon Redican recently highlighted 2012 was a year of growth on radio for grocery retailers as they came to realise radio’s strength at reaching shoppers with their latest deals and offerings (a strength underlined previously in a blog by our Insight Manager Aaron Pull). In a competitive environment, people want to know which supermarket is going to offer them the best value above others. A simple message from cheery ASDA employees David and Dawn – about saving on those ‘everyday essentials’ that we all need – does just that.
8. RAC (Creative by BBH; Media by ZenithOptimedia)
David Morrissey adopts a softer and friendlier tone than his current turn as ‘The Governor’ on TV’s “The Walking Dead” to introduce the familiar problem faced by drivers around the country of getting the car started on cold mornings – and then give them the solution courtesy of RAC. Using radio as a way of reaching drivers in car and integrating the creative execution with the TV campaign has worked well for RAC during these cold winter months.
9. JOHN WEST (Creative by Cheethambell JWT; Media by Carat Manchester)
Radio is often seen as the medium for tactical campaigns and gets side-lined when briefs for branding campaigns come to the table. John West demonstrates how this is a huge oversight and that radio can successfully tell brand stories. With a little bit of tongue-in-cheek humour the story of Felix the fisherman shows that tuna can be a lot more entertaining than you think!
10. CAMELOT (Creative by AMV BBDO; Media by OMD)
Everyone has their list of fantasy post-Lottery win purchases. For some it’s a big house, a flashy car, a round-the-world trip; and for others (e.g. specifically my parents) it’s a new fireplace and buying the local football club. Camelot cleverly allay ‘the fear’ that you might have forgotten to put those ‘lucky’ numbers on by highlighting how you can now play Lotto on your mobile. Now I just need to wait for those numbers to come in so I can finally fulfil my childhood dream of living like Richie Rich!
In light of a much welcome year-on-year increase in radio entries and awards received in the Cannes Lions 2012, we decided to explore if this success is mirrored in the trend of average creative scores achieved on radioGAUGE since it first launched back in 2008 – and we’ve found some encouraging results. In 2012 to date, the average creative score measured on radioGAUGE is 3.3% higher than for ads measured in 2011, and 5.1% higher compared to those measured in 2008.
Having identified these signs of an emerging radio creative renaissance, now feels like an appropriate time to unveil the advertisers that are helping to lead this in the form of the Top 10 performing ads as scored by listeners from the 33 national radio campaigns that we’ve measured on radioGAUGE in 2012 to date.
10. Moneysupermarket (Mother & MediaCom)
Moneysupermarket inhabit the airwaves with their bold and booming sound. In a sector full of distinctive campaigns, Moneysupermarket have still managed to create their own unique sonic identity thanks to epic voice of Patrick Stewart. Add in a few preposterous ideas (I’m sure even Andy Murray would struggle to come higher than third at Wimbledon using a credit card as a racquet…) and there you have it, an entertaining ad which makes you want to be SO Moneysupermarket yourself!
9. RatedPeople.com (VCCP & The7Stars)
The challenge you face as a new brand launching a national campaign is to a) get the brand name out there and b) ensure that people know what you are offering. The RatedPeople.com ad achieves both aims thanks to a very simplistic message delivered by the professional tone of Phil Spencer. As someone their target audience of homeowners already know and respect as a ‘trusted advisor’ Phil’s recognisable voice is a neat shortcut for transferring those essential perceptions onto the newly established RatedPeople brand.
8. Marks & Spencer (RKCR/Y&R & Walker Media)
Marks & Spencer are on air across the year with a variety of different messages. How do you try and differentiate all those messages to ensure that individual messages are cutting through yet maintain brand consistency? Using songs that are relevant to the message is one of the key elements to M&S’ successful strategy. Throughout the year you may hear them on-air with messages backed by ‘Here Comes The Sun’ or ‘Busy’ by Olly Murs. For the launch of the Simply M&S range, an instrumental of ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy’ helped communicate that you could enjoy the food without having to worry about the price.
7. Dolmio (AMV BBDO & Mediacom / Zenith)
The core strength of Dolmio campaigns are their ability to have their Family characters reach consumers across all media touch points. You see them on television, hear them tease you with repeated mentions of lasagne on radio and then when you pop down the supermarket you see them again looking at you from the packaging on the shelf. Simple, but highly effective.
6. Heinz (AMV BBDO & Vizeum)
If red wine counted as one of your five a day then the media industry would be one of the healthiest sectors around! Unfortunately it isn’t but Heinz is on hand to ensure that we all do our best to keep doctors happy and reach our 5-a-day target with a can of tomato soup. Continuing their heritage of utilising the best of British acting talent, Caroline Quentin’s light-hearted delivery hits just the right note and brings to life the image of curling up on the sofa on a cold, miserable January evening.
5. Carphone Warehouse (CHI & Partners & m/Six )
Nostalgia. It may not be what it used to be but it is one of the reasons why listeners love commercial radio – song that you haven’t heard for years will suddenly come on and cause you to start reminiscing. Carphone Warehouse have tapped into this by cleverly employing The Wombles to bring their ‘Waste’ campaign to life. When you hear the voice of Bernard Cribbins and The Wombles music begin to play in the background, happy memories of childhood come flooding back and the ad can’t fail to leave you with anything but a smile.
4. Department Of Health – Second Hand Smoke (Dare & M4C)
In the chilling TV ads commissioned by the Department of Health you see the invisible smoke circle around innocent babies and children. Now it’s obviously not possible to show invisible smoke on-air but what radio can do is give those innocent children a voice. The juxtaposition of the cute girl’s voice and the repeated mentions of poison create a stark re-iteration of just how damaging smoking around others can be – and why you should get in touch to give up and help yourself and those around you live healthier lives.
3. British Gas (Ogilvy & Carat)
Now we’ve all tried to playing a tune on the spoons before but British Gas have gone a little bit further than that. A rendition of ‘Rescue Me’ by Fontella Bass played on doorbells, spanners and drills has created a way of making boiler repairs seem far more entertaining than they actually are! Sound effects and music, if used incorrectly, can sometimes obscure the message but thanks to the no-nonsense delivery from the unmistakeable Timothy Spall you know precisely who is talking to you and exactly what they’re offering.
2. Tesco (The Red Brick Road & Initiative)
I wish I could whistle. I’ve tried – and I mean really tried – to whistle along to the Tesco ads but any attempt just ends failing miserably. However, whilst I may lack skills in the whistling department, I do have Clubcard points in need of exchanging. It’s probably no surprise that Tesco ads stand out so well on-air thanks to their distinctive sonic identity and ‘Every Little Helps’ slogan but it’s no mean feat to consistently create involving ways of delivering your messages to the audience and Tesco continue to do just that.
1. Department for Communities and Local Government – Fire Kills (RKCR/Y&R & M4C)
Hats off to the DCLG and the Fire Kills campaign for successfully topping the list once more with this year’s iteration of the campaign. Last year’s ad was a short, sharp 10 second reminder to listeners to test their alarm. This year’s copy is slightly longer but by no means creates any less of an impact. Using the eerie ticking clock engages listeners in what they might think is a quick reminder to change their clocks before the true message is unveiled, and you’re hit with the information that should get all of us checking our smoke alarms. Something for all of us to keep in mind once more as the end of British Summer Time closes in on us.
“It’s all about the voice”. If, like me, you’ve been one of the millions of people watching BBC1’s ‘The Voice’ you’ll have become well accustomed with this phrase that the hosts and coaches have repeatedly drilled home since the opening blind auditions. The Voice’s USP is placing the importance on having a unique voice that would be instantly recognisable on the radio rather than letting appearances influence the decision. Well what if we were to apply what Jessie J et al. have been doing with singers to ads? Is enough attention being given to how ads sound and crucially how to ensure that they make an appealing first impression that gets listeners sitting up and taking note?
Developing a distinctive voice is one way in which you can bring your brand to life. Feedback we’ve gleaned from listeners through RadioGAUGE has shown how people often don’t like having to work too hard to figure out who is speaking to them. Advertisers such as Honda don’t have that problem. As soon as you hear the dulcet tones of Garrison Keillor you know straight away that it’s Honda talking to you. There’s no need for them to spend time setting up the brand, instead they can get straight into delivering their message and what they have to offer.
Like all the hopefuls on The Voice, song selection can be a crucial decision for brands too. Pick the right song and you will be able to create an instant connection with the audience that translates the positive emotional attachment they have with the song on to your brand. Carphone Warehouse is a current example of an advertiser doing just that. They’ve used the soundtrack from The Wombles as backing to their ‘Waste’ campaign and tap into the emotional heritage of our childhood associations with those characters. This has enabled them to create a brand proposition which sets them apart from their competitors and creates a distinctive tone for the campaign.
The use of music can help set the feel of the ad but how brands actually deliver their message is equally as vital. Often the way we speak has a greater effect than what we are actually saying. Tone of voice can be central to building appeal for your brand. An advertiser who understands the importance of this is Heinz. They utilise a crop of ‘Best of British’ voices including the likes of Tim Healy and Larry Lamb to Alison Steadman and Sheridan Smith talking about classic ‘Heinz’ scenarios that listeners can relate to and that perfectly encapsulate what the Heinz brand represents.
Of course, all of this isn’t to say that the image of your brand isn’t important (as we are seeing with The Voice as it progresses through its live shows and becomes more about the ‘whole package’) but remember that the voice of your brand shouldn’t be underestimated.
Our challenge to advertisers out there is to ensure the voice of your brand is given the due care and consideration it deserves. After all, it could be the element of your campaign that captures the imagination of the audience, causing them to “turn their chair around” and select you.
Supermarket media spend has come under the spotlight in the last month with both Marketing and MediaTel highlighting the sector’s substantial decrease in press spend and a potential change in media strategy. One of the beneficiaries so far has been radio with spend up 58% year on year during the last six months of 2011. So, why do retailers look as though they are beginning to warm to radio’s full potential at a time when other media appear to be suffering?
One of the reasons may be that tactically radio can play a vital role in targeting swapper shoppers by getting under the radar and catching them at the right time. Research released by Starcom Mediavest Group revealed that one the problems facing supermarkets is a culture of ‘swapper shoppers’, that is the 8.25m supermarket shoppers who lack loyalty to any of the ‘big six’ supermarkets. Therefore, the need for advertising for supermarkets to catch shoppers in the moment of decision making is vital. Radio can play to its strengths here of low ad avoidance and ability to reach people across ‘the retail day’ to ensure that their messages are hitting home when listeners could be thinking about what to buy and crucially where to shop.
But, whilst price and value messages can be crucial in luring a shopper in for one week, being able to develop a long-term emotional connection with shoppers (alongside those competitive offers and value) is the key to ensuring they come back on a regular basis.
At Global Radio’s ‘Voice of Retail’ event last week, Lee Cooper, The White Stuff’s Creative Director spoke enthusiastically about how their brand is all about ‘the family’ (customers included) and how building a local, community feel to each shop is an important part of their strategy. It’s more difficult for supermarket chains to engender the same feeling amongst consumers but perhaps this is where their advertising campaigns can play an important role.
In this context, radio is able to operate at a much deeper emotional level and this is increasingly reflected in the types of messaging we hear on the radio. Sonically, for my money, Sainsbury’s have hit the nail on the head with their use of ‘Bare Necessities’ . Using the song enables Sainsbury’s to tap into the emotional heritage that it holds in the minds of many listeners and translate that onto the Sainsbury’s brand as part of the ‘Live Well For Less’ campaign. It’s these kinds of appealing messages and audio features that can transfer well from their TV campaigns and enables radio to perform both the role of driving people into store whilst also building brand loyalty.
Hopefully the pattern of increasing radio spend across the last few months is one that will continue throughout 2012 and if, as speculated by some, the supermarkets are holding back some of their budget for the big ‘summer of sport’ then hopefully radio will play its role as part of that. Developing a strong and consistent voice on commercial radio may be the first step in harnessing the listener’s loyalty for their favourite radio stations and translate that into their shopping habits.
If you looked into the Grafton Suite at the Westbury Hotel in Dublin on Tuesday morning at first you might have just thought that everyone was quietly and intently eating the Irish breakfasts on offer. However, on further inspection you would have noticed they were in fact were all engaged and focused on the launch presentation of RadioGAUGE in Ireland (although I’m sure the breakfast helped things along too!).
RadioGAUGE has established itself in the UK market since it launched in 2008 and has worked well for us as industry at proving radio’s effectiveness and being a conversation starter with advertisers about the campaigns. This has led to us now having measured over 500 campaigns and spiking the interest of overseas markets. The RAB in South Africa launched RadioGAUGE in 2010 and both Ireland and Canada launched pilot studies in 2011. Ireland has now following in the steps of South Africa by signing up to RadioGAUGE for 2012 with four dips of research guaranteed across the year.
Tuesday was not just the launch of RadioGAUGE in another territory but the sign of an industry beginning to work together for the greater good. RadioGAUGE Ireland has been possible because RTE and IBI have come together to fight the common issues that they both faced with agencies and clients wanting definitive proof of how radio is working as part of their campaigns – the same arguments that we faced here in the UK prior to 2008 and the creation of RadioGAUGE.
A room full of people excited about research quite possibly sounds like an oxymoron but this was actually the case at the launch event. I felt a true sense of optimism and positivity towards the launch of RadioGAUGE in the room from both radio group and media agency representatives and the handful or so of questions in the Q&A session demonstrated that people were actually keen to find out more about the offering and how they could get involved.
Here’s hoping that RadioGAUGE provides as much for RTE and IBI as it has for the UK radio industry and that this is just the beginning of a combined effort between the two at proving radio effectiveness in Ireland for all their customers.
Q3 2011 might well be remembered by some as the ‘summer of discontent’ thanks to the riots, the closure of the News of the World and, perhaps more trivially (or tragically depending on your media habits), Channel 4 airing it’s last ever repeat of Friends. The ‘summer’ may well have left us begging for the bright days of April to return but RadioGauge continues come rain or shine and during the months of July, August and September measured 36 creative executions from national radio campaigns. So it’s time to see which advertisers were leading the way on our 5I’s of effective radio creative during Q3…
10. Heinz Tomato Ketchup (Vizeum & AMV BBDO)
Well now I’m wishing it was Sunday morning and that I was eating away at a thick bacon sandwich oozing with tomato ketchup. I can only think this is the default reaction for the majority of people (vegetarians aside) once they’ve heard the ad play out. Taking a traditional British favourite, utilising Larry Lamb’s distinctive voice and maintaining the staple elements of the ‘It has to be…’ construct Heinz have delivered a radio creative that demonstrates you don’t need to see the ketchup, smell the bacon or feel the patio under your feet to appeal to all the senses.
9. Persil (Mindshare & BBH)
It’s a good thing that Persil didn’t take the advice of W.C Fields and decide to never work with children. From their enthusiasm to their infectious and cheeky laughter, the kids enable Persil to relate directly to the heart of their target audience whilst also reminding them just what little monsters their angels can be when let anywhere near chocolate ice cream or blackcurrant juice! An emotionally engaging creative that promotes their new and improved range without losing sight of the core brand values.
8. Imodium (Carat & JWT)
Advertising diarrhoea-relieving tablets could be a difficult creative challenge to crack. However, by using an orchestral analogy to cleverly represent the problems faced by diarrhoea sufferers and how their product can help, Imodium have produced an interesting execution which allows them to communicate their key messages without focusing too heavily on the ‘D word’.
7. Sky (MediaCom & Brother & Sisters)
At the RAB we often talk about the emotional connection that radio has with its listeners and how brands can really use that to their advantage. Sky have harnessed that environment with their ‘Better Effect’ campaign and used the appeal of Victoria Wood to charm listeners with the benefits of their various packages and ensure that their customers (current and prospective) all feel valued.
6. Pizza Hut (Starcom & AMV BBDO)
Short, simple and effective. Sometimes people just want to hear what you can do for them and Pizza Hut has done just that. In a time where keeping an eye on the pennies is top of the agenda for many families, clearly communicating key offers that will save their customers some cash will help boost cut through on air and also increase the appeal of Pizza Hut with listeners.
5. British Gas (Carat & CHI)
BBQs, picnics and ice cream…if only the summer had actually been as good as the one painted by British Gas; instead there really wasn’t a better time to get that boiler replaced! British Gas remain an example to all on how to successfully develop a consistent creative construct that can work across all media.
4. Lloyds TSB (MEC & RKCR/Y&R)
If you want your brand to stand out on radio then crafting a creative route that is immediately recognisable and that can become synonymous with your brand is definitely one way to go. Lloyds have done this to great success with their ‘holy trinity’ of music (Eliza’s Aria), voice (Julie Walters) and tagline (‘For the journey’). These elements help ensure that at any point in the ad you know exactly who the advertiser is which can be key in a competitive sector such as finance.
3. Dolmio (Zenith & Proximity)
Having built up the ‘Dolmio Family’ on predominantly TV and press, radio was a logical step to extend the voice and personality of the brand. Mama, Papa & the kids enable Dolmio to appeal to the family values of listeners and as the words “Lasagne! Lasagne! Lasagne!” ring out you can’t help but conjure up images of those classic, big Italian family meals with everybody digging in.
2. Autoglass (Starcom & Radioville)
Another strong creative performance from Autoglass but unfortunately for them it’s not quite enough to be top of the countdown for a second quarter running. Whether it’s turning on the aircon whilst driving to the seaside, delivering flowers and driving over a pothole or a crack appearing whilst you’re out picking up your Santa outfit, Autoglass continue to remind us all about the myriad of situations that may lead to their services being required.
1. Compare The Market (Zenith & VCCP)
After narrowly missing out last quarter, Alexandr has finally got his hands on the #1 spot. Compare The Market have truly brought their brand alive with the Meerkat campaign and have demonstrated how creating an entertaining and appealing brand character can really work to get people engaged with a category that most people would otherwise struggle to get excited about. A job very well done.