So i was driving to work this morning and it occurred to me, again, how bizarre some of the advertising on the radio has become. Now as a classically trained marketeer, i know that every brand has a different insight, target audience and objective for its advertising and i can’t help but sit in the car at a red light and try and work out what the hell it might be.  Some are obvious.  Some i just can not fathom.

There are some that i love.  The Snickers adverts with Mr T are spot on.  They are funny, pithy and on brand.  They leverage the TV advertising campaign and deliver a simple and core brand truth that Snickers are full of nuts.  I also (randomly) quite like the Plusnet advert which is all about good honest broadband from Yorkshire.  These entertain me because the advert ends with the son giving up on his dad as opposed to what i expected as a listener which was his father (who is confusing broadband with broad beans) suddenly to have an epiphany and figure it all out.  The fact that he doesnt and his son gives up is unusual, amusing and therefore memorable.

Then there are those that i get… but the adverts themselves are just so awful that it makes me want to change the radio station.  I am pretty sure that is NOT their objective.  Interestingly, i met the producer of Capital FM’s breakfast show today and he explained that he has the power to veto advertising on his show if he doesnt think it is suitable or appropriate! I wish i had the power to remove rubbish adverts.

Now i get the fact that conventional radio advertising thinking is (1) Interrupt the listener to grab their attention; (2) hold their attention whilst a key message is delivered and (3) sign off in an appropriate or amusing manner to ensure they remember the advert and the message.  However, whilst some adverts are not bold enough to interrupt and therefore are not noticed, others do cut through but for totally the wrong reasons and this can actually be damaging to the brand perception. 

The one i dislike (or maybe even hate!) at the moment is for … hold on i have no recollection what it was actually advertising. OK. Having checked with my wife it is apparently Belvita Biscuits.  To ask her i shouted downstairs ‘you know that really annoying radio advert where the guy stutters ‘regularly relieves”, whats it for? Clearly im not the target audience but even so, this isnt the type of recollection they were probably hoping for…

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