Radio bizniz

Before Carolines class I did not think radio was for me. I’m a pretty competent art director but a completely incompetent copy writer. Without giving much thought to radio I kind of wrote it off as something which isn’t my problem. I didn’t see radio as something I would do or would need to do but Caroline’s class completely changed my incredibly ignorant preconceived ideas as to what an art director’s role is in a radio advert. 

There was a lot that was spoken about in the class, Caroline is a fantastic teacher and I always leave her classes with a whole plethora of new knowledge and ideas. Within that there are always a few that really stick out to me that I have carried with me. In this class there were three main points.

The first being the fact that you can’t skip a radio ad.

People hate ads these days, they go completely out of their way to download ad blocker, pay for premium streaming services so they don’t have to engage at all but radio is a loophole! You can’t skip radio ads and you definitely can’t block them! Also when people are listening to the radio they are relatively engaged, it’s often a secondary element to a main activity like cooking or driving, meaning whether that’s into their subconscious or main conscious it’s going in!  I think being mindful of this as a tool when writing radio would be helpful. Playing with the idea that this is a form of advertising, pretty similar to cinema ads that they can’t really avoid them.

The second thing that has really stuck with me from this class is that radio is visual.

By using radio you can build scenes in people’s imagination that would usually cost an absolute fortune to produce. Also, by leaving it up to people’s imagination it almost becomes more personal to them. For example if you were to say to a group of ten people to imagine a worm coming out of an apple each one would be different. Obviously this is just theory, I am no psychoanalyst and it’s impossible to truly gage what people are really imagining but I’m assuming its pretty rare for 2 people to imagine picture perfect identical stuff. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that by writing about and creating visual scenes / scenarios you are allowing people to imagine all of what it would look like, which then leads to it being a more personal interaction with the work. I think this is another tool to play with and be incredibly mindful of when writing radio.

The third was about how you can use radio stations as a way to really easily reach your target audience. 

There was a campaign recently from THINK! In which pirate radio stations hijacked young listeners’ radio waves to share messages for THINK! Campaign. It’s really great, the campaign targets young men 17-24 who are conveniently the main listeners to pirate radio stations. This initiative from Think is great and has made me think about how there are so many different radio stations out there, legal or illegal. Each radio station attracts a different type of person and similar people listen to the same radio station. Therefore when writing radio it’s super important to think about how you can use specific radio stations to easily target a specific group of people.

There was a lot more taught than that but those were my 3 main takeaways. The parts that stuck with me and I believe will stick with me for a while. Give me a bit of time and there will be some bangers out there with my name on – watch this space! Thanks Caroline 🙂 


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