Monday, September 29, 2008

TV campaigns for radio stations not successful? Here's why not......

I think of it as a reverse "chicken or egg". Are ads for radio stations on TV not doing well because of the campaigns themselves? Or is it because people are getting so turned off by local radio?
The recent MediaWeek article did a good job at pointing out something I have been concerned about for years, but didn't address the possible reasons why.

I'll say it's the chicken. People know these local radio stations are there, but continue not to listen like they used to.

There never used to be clusters of commercials often lasting 5 minutes or longer before getting back into music, talk, or whatever the format.

When the air personality finally comes on, he or she is often voice tracked, sometimes not even in the same city as the station. Yet local radio is supposed to have the local appeal. But without true local personality like there always used to be, many radio stations are no longer the first destination when something major happens in the neighborhood.

The music comes on, and we continue to get edited down versions of longer songs. As I have said for years and years, a song is either good enough to be played on the air or it isn't. If listeners don't like a particular song, they are gone. Those that do want to enjoy it to the max. But if I am going to hear a favorite song with three minutes edited out, I am better off to play my CD with the entire song on it. I'll enjoy that more, and again, it is something that I cannot get from my local radio station.

Now, when a radio spot comes on TV, too many people probably think about the reason(s) why they no longer wish to listen to whatever station, instead of a reminder about why they should.

Your thoughts are welcome.

Meanwhile, this story snuck under the radar late last week. The annual Radio & Records Awards were given out over the past weekend. The winner of "Station of the Year" in the classic hits/oldies category? WCBS-FM New York.

This snuck under the radar because hardly anyone else in the media caught the irony of all this. Station of the year? It wins after a RETURN to a format it had dumped two years earlier for less success. They bring back the format as best radio can. Not exactly what it used to be, as the playlist sways a few years later than their previous incarnation. And now comes the recognition.
In other words, correcting a mistake generates more recognition than before they made it.

The "music on the AM dial" saga takes another turn in Milwaukee. WOKY 920 AM flopped after going retro and bringing back its 1960's sound, complete with hourly newscasts. Weak signal and all, especially at night. So what do they do instead? Last week they become "The Wolf". And, of course, you have to ask, "What is The Wolf?". You guessed it, it is another music format. Now they are trying their hand at Country Music on the AM dial. There. That ought to fix it.

That Milwaukee story was almost overshadowed by the change in Sioux City announced last week. 102.3 FM announced that they have abandoned their "BOB-FM" format of "We play anything". The change was announced the same day it was completed on the air.

Now that you are all excited to find out what 102.3 FM changed to, and in case you missed the major press release, we will tell you. The station is now known as JACK-FM. The new slogan is "Playing What We Want". BOB finished at 9 AM and a mere 3 hours later at Noon the same day, along came JACK.

I suppose with the right TV campaign......................

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