Matching Mediums - Radio, TV, Print & Outdoor

Radio is a great medium. And there’s every chance that it’s the only one you need. But, I get that you might not be convinced by one guy writing a blog on the net. Or maybe you manage a business that has a sizeable advertising budget that can properly span across multiple mediums. Well, I’m not here to wax poetic on how great those other mediums can be. I do believe that your money is best spent on radio advertising. But, that doesn’t mean that print, outdoor, & TV have no value. I just won’t be the one to tell you how to use them, because I’m not an expert on them. What I do want to say is, regardless of how many mediums you purchase your creative needs to be congruent across the board. Everything needs to have a certain harmony. I’ll say it a lot in this blog, but you really need to narrow your company and your brand down to one simple idea. The larger it gets from that, the less effective it will be. The great thing is the simpler and more pure an idea is, the easier it can be to bridge it across multiple mediums.

I’ve been in radio a long time, and one thing that has always bugged me is seeing business owners have their commercials produced at multiple radio stations. The problem with that is you break up the creative message across your advertising campaign. Ideally, your creative should be written, conceived, and produced by a small group of like minded people; A group of talented people that fully understand your business, your goals, and the intricacies of your advertising campaign. If your ads are written & produced by multiple different stations & agencies, you’re at serious risk of splintering your message. What I mean is if you’re going to pay for airtime for your commercial to run, you need to be certain that every advertisement you run on every station is linked within the same campaign. If it’s not, your campaign is like two dogs chasing thee rabbits. You need 3 dogs chasing one rabbit.

You want listener retention. If you have a few different messages out on a number of different stations, it’s harder to get your message heard. If you have one message on many different stations, it’s that much easier to get recognition. Also, keep in mind, it might be best to take your entire budget, and pepper one radio station hard. Even a market’s lowest rated station can have up to 100K listeners in its cumulative audience. Your business can benefit huge from targeting a small portion of that slice of the population.

What I’m saying here is, make sure one person is handling your creative and make sure every campaign you run is under the same brand, working to achieve the same result.

But yeah, what about those other mediums? Well, it’s all the same. Keep everything under the same brand. I realize that can be hard when certain things lend itself to one brand and not another. But, believe me, it is possible. Take this commercial as an example. Prepare yourself, it’s ridiculous.

The idea for this commercial was to gain awareness of one dealership by poking fun at all of those bad jingles that are out there in radioland. The campaign would see more bad jingles like this one. That would be how the dealership would be represented on radio. The client we pitched this to rightfully mentioned that although they liked the idea, they also wanted to run print and they wanted the styles to match.

We sat back and thought about it. This was a more difficult one to crack because the idea really does relate itself to radio in specific. But, a writer friend of mine had a brilliant idea. The whole point of this branding campaign was to build awareness by poking fun at the more clichéd elements of the radio medium (bad radio jingles.) So, why couldn’t we do the same thing with print? What’s the main thing you’d think about with a newspaper car ad? It’s a big page of small pictures of cars with prices strewn about everywhere. There might be a starburst in the corner, with a big picture of the dealership. We’ve all seen them. Our idea was to make a big ridiculous spread with hand drawn pictures of cars. Instead of prices, we could phrases like “boom, shabazz, & pow!” up in the corner, instead of a dealership we could put a big T-Rex, or a unicorn riding down a rainbow to the dealership. In every way that the jingle you heard was ridiculous to radio, this ad would be ridiculous to print. Plus, it’d be fun. And more so, it’d stick out like a sore thumb (which is great in advertising.) Even when it seemed impossible to match our mediums, there was still a fun way to do it. I promise you there is always a way to do it. Usually, the harder it is to imagine a bridge between your mediums, the cooler the campaign is when you figure out how to do it.

If this sounds a little difficult to you, that’s ok. As a business owner, it’s not the easiest thing to figure out. If you’re up to it, I’d be happy to take a look at your current campaign, and help you bridge it across anything you could possibly want to buy. Or, I might just advise you that you need to put your money on a new dog. Then we can make something really cool together!