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Creativity through Radio - KV Sridhar

20-April-2011
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Creativity through Radio - KV Sridhar

Three Golds at the Creative Abbys 2011 - all for Radio - has Leo Burnett stressing on the importance of radio in the marketing mix. The three Golds were won for the work done for ‘Saathi’, ‘Bajaj Exhaust Fans’ and ‘HP Racer4’.

KV Sridhar, NCD, Leo Burnett, speaks to exchange4media on radio as a brand building medium.

Radio as a medium…
It’s only in the last couple of years that FM has seen growth. A lot of people are committed to radio the whole day. There was a time when people were not so connected with radio, but since the advent of FM, radio is back in the picture. Radio is a medium where there is lesser amount of interference and more freedom, contrary to what television does as there are fewer numbers of people involved with radio. The cost is low, therefore, it is also economical. Radio has got more stature than what it originally had, but it has still not spread as much as it should have had. Internationally, we have regional and local channels whose number is far more than the ones in India. Radio, at the end of the day, is a community thing. India is a very vocal nation, which believes in the power of radio. We learn more by listening and speaking than we do by writing and reading. We all focus on metros, but the problem here is that nobody is actually focusing on the fact that in India, our dialect changes at every 24 km. Radio is a very important medium when it comes to brand building, radio really helps.

What kinds of brands prefer radio as a marketing medium?
Radio currently is being used heavily by retailers because it is a local medium, like MacDonald’s or Bajaj Electricals. Radio is not just an entertaining reminder medium like television. It can deliver a lot of content, it’s just that we have forgotten about it of late. There was a time when radio was one of the most informative and entertaining mediums. Today, 70 per cent of the money goes into television as it supposedly delivers more emotions. We can raise the standards of radio by adding on to the content that it is actually capable of delivering.

If you had to give a few tips to creative heads on how they should view radio, what would they be?
Radio is a medium which can be regarded as watching television with eyes closed. It’s an art of recreating magic with sounds; making a person feel he is at some place when actually he is not. Ideas are ideas, be it on television or on radio; something like a ‘shubharamb’, it does not matter if it’s on television or on radio. However, agencies consider radio as a ‘not so important’ medium. It is only the media planners who focus on it. Agencies should take the initiative and prove with results to the client how important a medium radio is. It still has a lot that can be explored.

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