Top Story


Home >> Media - Radio >> Article

Guest Article: Radio isn’t easy – Contract’s Nima Namchu

Font Size   16
Guest Article: Radio isn’t easy – Contract’s Nima Namchu

It’s not easy writing radio spots.

The radio spot writer in an advertising agency competes with the big guys – folks like Gulzar, Javed Akhtar, Prasoon Joshi, John Lennon, Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan and (while you might not like hearing this) at times even The Spice Girls.

It’s not easy writing radio spots.

When someone sits down to read a book or a magazine, that’s what they intend to do – read. A person might stop to reach for that elusive bowl of potato wafers once in a while, but he is more or less focused on the written word staring back at him. Processing the words, painting pictures in his head…

When he’s watching television, it’s usually at the end of the day – he is tired and has probably switched off some parts of his mind. While his brain defragments, he lays back and passively receives information from the box.

But with radio it’s a little different. We turn it on, but we’re focused on gazillion other things.

Will I get to the meeting on time?
Should I stop to offer that pretty little thing a ride?
Why can’t cyclists stay off the road?
Now, if I can only squeeze my car through that tiny space between the two trucks.
(And if you’re in the kitchen) I hope I didn’t overdo the haldi.

It’s not easy writing radio spots.

In film, there are lens filters, edit patterns, music, actors and exotic locations to make your idea attractive. In print, you have location, photographer and, if required, Photoshop. In radio, all you have is black. And sound.

It’s not easy writing radio spots.

The radio writer is quite like King Leonidas facing the Persian army with just 300 men. Ever heard of a radio spot that cost Rs 60 lakh to make? Neither have I. Tight deadlines and budgets tighter than Leonidas’ loin cloth – that’s the story.

It’s not easy writing radio spots.

Most of the time, you will get two days to produce a radio spot. Most of the time, there will be no pre-production meeting, where the client team and the agency team deliberate over the finer nuances of the accent and intonations. Most of the time, the voiceover artist you are using will be the voiceover artist everyone else is using. Most of the time, the client will ask “Thoda launchy nahin ho sakta!?”.

It’s not easy writing radio spots.

But you will churn out script after script after script. You will ride the radio waves on sheer guts and determination. You will write that script that stops a hand from changing stations. You will write the script that’s supposed to get you that piece of gold or titanium or whatever metal they think of next. Then someone comes along with a better script, a few more rupees and several few extra hours to craft and fine-tune his spot till it’s just right.

No, it’s not easy writing radio spots.
But that’s why we are still here, aren’t we?

(Nima Namchu, Executive Creative Director, Contract Delhi, and is part of the Jury panel for the first ever exchange4media Radio Advertising Awards, to be held in Mumbai on October 7, 2010.)

Our typical marketing budget is usually 10 per cent of the topline spend

There are some forces impacting the way our business works. The IT/ITeS sector has changed tremendously. Platforms like Twitter have made everyone journalists. Smartphones have made everyone a photographer. The trend that we are seeing is one of hyperdigitalization, which is causing the lines between product and services to blur. For example, <a href=

The OOH sector is among the fastest growing, globally. Brands and marketers have realized its potential and impact and begun to craft medium-specific adverts. Self-regulation is not only necessary but also essential to growth of the sector. The industry needs to exercise a certain level of this self-restraint to prove its commitment to maintaining the best standards in advertising.

<b>Clients are looking for experiential solutions beyond radio or print: Abraham Thomas, Radio City 91.1 FM</b><br><br> From entering new markets to launching large format events, Radio City 91.1FM has been on a roll. The radio channel recently announced the launch of India’s biggest singing talent hunt-Radio City Super Singer Season 8. Earlier this year, the channel set up its own creative-cum...

Under the watchful eye of Walt Disney, Bindass undergoes brand repackaging with a fresh new show ‘Dil Buffering’ simulcast across its linear and social media platforms on September 29 and will launch...

Apart from the mandate for the first project which is the Ashiana Town in Bhiwadi, Tomorrow and InterTwined will deliver brand solutions across film, print, radio, outdoor and activation besides provi...

Despite advertising picking up after a slow Q1, regional FM players still feel that the lingering effect of GST, RERA, demonetisation will still make its impact felt during the upcoming festive quarte...