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Radio – an evolving medium, but needs to break the creative barrier

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Radio – an evolving medium, but needs to break the creative barrier

Creativity can be a barrier breaker for radio. The ongoing problem of advertisers not spending enough on the medium seems to be prevalent in the industry. The biggies of creative agencies, media agency and radio put forth their point of view on what exactly do clients want, where is radio going wrong and digital being the next big thing.

Importance of creativity in the medium
While observing that “radio is being treated as the step child in the media mix”, Anurag Batra, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, exchange4media Group, wanted to know from the industry leaders how radio could be brought up to the level of other mediums.

Responding to this, Abhijit Awasthi, National Creative Director, O&M, said, “Radio is an extremely exciting medium. Principles of creativity are same for radio as they are for other mediums. Unfortunately creative people are not able to figure out its charm yet. We generally see people talking about a great campaign they saw on television or print but everyone ignore the radio medium in totality. It is a very useful medium but we are not yet convinced that it can be called a solo advertising medium. Just managing to do good spots is not enough, channels should open up a little more.”

Rajiv Raja, NCD, DDB Mudra, put forth his view point on the subject by saying, “Local language is an important thing. This does not mean translation but making something in local language for the people there. When I grew up there was only radio in the house, we have memories of radio then but not of the recent FM. It is still not as widespread as it should be. They should try and have an unusual and a different approach. Creativity is about interaction and that is what should be kept in mind while working for radio as well.”

Growth and future of Radio
Ratan Rathore, National Cluster Head, Radio and Cinema, Group M, mentioned, “We as radio representatives must applaud ourselves for the tremendous growth that we have seen. Internet and radio has seen almost a similar growth pattern. Television and print are more of passive mediums whereas radio and internet are more interactive and communicate in a more personal manner. Radio can be regarded as more of a reach medium.”

B Surendar, Senior VP & National Sales Head, Red FM, said, “The future of radio looks very strong and promising. I see loses taking a back seat and profits coming in lime light. Phase III is not as big a turning point as is being portrayed as, the biggest turning point was Phase II. Getting into the shoes of a brand manager and looking into a 360 degree approach is the call that should be taken. Radio is a growing child which witnesses a lot of innovations.”

Approach towards Radio
Kartik Sharma, GM (West), Maxus, said, “Notion of radio being the least important medium has changed in the past few years. Brand managers give good radio clients as well. It’s a medium full of emotions and hardcore beliefs. Media owners on the other hand should get together and do something for the medium, like forming websites etc.”

Digital the next big thing
Jon Simon, Senior VP, Cimarron Digital, on the subject said, “Radio needs to connect with the listeners and get more people to tune in. In digital space we take one medium and connect it with other mediums and this is what radio should look into doing. Like other mediums story telling aspect is very crucial for radio as well.”

This discussion took place under the aegis of the India Radio Forum (IRF) on May 26, 2011, convened by the Indian radio industry.


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