Are Sponsored Radio Promotions All About the Client, or the Station?

By Juliette Nicholls

At Heart, brands like Sky, Disney and Sony work really well. They, like us, are household family names and are aspirational. Their businesses provide experiences for our listener that others can’t or don’t – whether on TV, dream holidays or film. They enhance the listeners’ experience of Heart too; they provide huge prizes that draw listeners in and their gravitas boosts the brand.

Of course, there are times when clients can feel that their messaging and objectives are central. Unfortunately, this misses the bespoke quality of promotional trails – the endorsement of a station its listeners love. In cutting mentions of the station, they neglect the point of the campaign. Where ads can run for 30 seconds without any station involvement, they cannot explicitly link a brand to the station. Sometimes in reigning back pushy messaging, clients feel that they are missing out. In actual fact, they are gaining a conversational style and losing a sales tone that many people switch off to. We are all about keeping them listening.

Which is why it’s sometimes easy to swing the other way with promotional trails. But to be all about the station also misses an opportunity. Clients up our game, particularly with names like Santander and Asda. For new listeners, those names are the normality that keep them associating with us. So despite the difficulty in finding the balance, connecting clients with a brand, presenters and production can only benefit a radio station. And not just in keeping us in a job!

Juliette is the Imaging and S&P Producer for The Heart Network – Global Radio in London. Follow her at @JulesNicholls. She welcomes your correspondence at Juliette.nicholls@thisisglobal.com.

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