Relevant Radio- Ad-Nauseam
The Slow Death of Radio by Infomercial
For the past decade many people have told me that they have been frustrated when driving around their towns on the weekends. When looking for substance, when pushing their seek buttons on their radios, they have been disappointed to find that the local news- talk station is airing half hour and hour long programs based on pill pushing, home enhancing, grass greening, or exercise equipment. Not that there is something wrong with any of the products or services outlined on infomercials-however when talking to people in broadcasting and would-be listeners the infomercial is not working.
At first infomercials became revenue streams for broadcasting. Broadcasters took pre-produced programming and charged a premium without having to worry about an all out effort. Then sales reps started to complain that no one would buy spot-time in between the infomercials and when Arbitron comes out it shows that listeners are turning off the radio on the weekends or turning to other stations to listen to sports, music, or Satellite Radio. The end result is that the audience is being driven away instead of listening to long-form infomercials. Moreover other advertisers are not buying the time between airings of infomercials. A double whammy of ratings and revenues create a void in weekend programming and other media is reaping the benefits, slowly killing radio relevance.
I started to research the group hurt the most by these weekend broadcasting problems and I wonder out loud why they keep producing and airing this genre of advertising. It doesn’t have to be that way and I think my group at Envoy Creative has some answers. Most companies that pay to have their message in infomercial form don’t realize that you can not hold the audience hostage all of the time. And while there’s a sucker born every minute they don’t want to listen to media that sucks for more than 30 seconds!
In our findings we found that by one of those companies sponsoring a well-produced show with compelling content, their association will get better sales results when linked with their websites. A reputable company that sponsors a successful radio talk show that airs on the weekends is bound to get more hits on their website resulting in more listeners, that translate into sales and quality branding will create an integrity factor. The infomercial on the other hand is like flushing money down the drain. The pipes may rattle for 20 seconds but there’s an awful lot of silence in-between!
A sole sponsored program that contains elements worth listening to such as features, music, interview, comedy with three breaks, one at the top, in the middle, and at the end of the program with sporadic mentions engage the listener. The commercials have to have related association value to the segments that air on the show.
And so we are doing an experiment. If we were to take companies who utilize infomercials and turn them into sponsors we can change Weekend Radio in a weekend! Envoy Creative is producing 7 new radio programs that will replace your infomercial time and guarantee sales results by harvesting loyal and new listeners. Each half hour program will contain three breaks that include two minute commercials that link to the sponsor’s website. Here are the shows:
1. The Radio Envoy Interview (public interest)
2. Radio Cartoon (a weekly clean show of skits and interviews)
3. The Songwriter’s Gallery (music and interviews with well known musicians)
4. Royal Treatment (Dramatic Radio Theatre type of piece)
5. Camp Storyboard (news stories ala NPR)
6. Envoy News Source (News and issues)
7. Causeway- a combination of the above programs.
What’s in it for the current company is buying infomercial time?
-Great Programming that engages the listener
-Radio Commercials produced by an award winning team
-You’ll help the future of radio by sponsorship.
-Enhance your image with the integrity factor
-Get positive sales results
For more information call David Fort toll free at (888) 266-3180!