RADIO still plays the role of a support medium, at best, and is not yet a serious part of any media planner's budget, but it has enormous potential and provides an exciting opportunity for innovation.
That is why at least one ad agency, rmg david, is all set to take on a pioneering role in the medium it calls "outdoors with sound". rmg radioactive, the agency's specialised radio division, is to be launched on January 26.
According to agency sources, the division will develop spots and provide programming inputs when needed. The agency with a preference for the lower case has already created radio spots for clients such as Officer's Choice Aqua Pura — sach ka voice, Officer's Choice and Benetton — the award-winning rang barse, besides the branding for Star India's Radio City fun ka dose, har roz. The agency will hire a couple of writers and an account executive to service the division, and set up alliances with independent producers for radio.
The medium offers the advantages of a relatively low cost and speed; radio is generally cheaper than print and TV, and this makes it more appealing to local retailers. An advertiser can buy a package for between Rs 450 and Rs 10,000, whereas even one 100 cc print ad will set him back by more than Rs 50,000, said V. Ganapathy, rmg david's Business Group Head.
Given that India only has 10 FM stations as compared with 22 even in Sri Lanka, we have a long way to go, Ganapathy said. The opportunity lies in expanding the listener base - by putting it on buses, and in barbershops, for example. "Radio lets you do something else while listening - so housewives could be targeted in a big way," he said.
Going forward, the agency believes radio will be huge, even though it may not be a huge part of its business.