A few of the workshops we attended were aimed at exposing clients and agency representatives in attendance, to an exciting array of international insights that prove just how effective radio can be in this new digital age. Here are the highlights…
Ralph van Dijk of Eardrum presented aworkshop called ‘Radical Thinking’, noting; “Agencies don’t have a love affair with radio and I’m not sure why. Ideas are so pure on radio, you are not bound by anything. But unfortunately, the medium seems so unglamorous and NOT easy. But you have to push boundaries and embrace failure.
Radio is also about preparation. Pre-production is so important so all involved need to get together at the early stages to ensure that your radio has a single-minded message and is clever.
A good example is a spot recorded by The Monkey’s in Sydney, Australia for IKEA.
To illustrate his point on pushing the envelope when it comes to ideas, van Dijk played a series of radio ads which Eardrum had produced. One of these includeda spot for ‘Virtua Cop’, a video game, where they interviewed a real prisoner with his views on the police.
Another idea involved Strepsils throat lozenges. Although there was a normal radio spot for the product running on radio in Sydney over the same period, they got actors around the area to phone in to talk shows and whilst talking to the host, complain about their sore throats and their need to take a Strepsil. This clearly involved no media spend and won a Gold Radio Lion at Cannes last year.
He then divided all delegates into groups, in order to come up with a conceptual radio idea. Each group got an envelope with a one-line brief /product and then 5 other lines of how they could push their ideas to RADICAL, and 15 minutes to come up with an idea! (no pressure!)
The lines were:
- Ad must be outside the Ad break
- Every line in the script must be a question
- Feature a one-man band
- A person discovers he can fly
- Ad must be set in an ultrasound appointment.
‘THINK OUT OF THE BOX’
We’ve also gathered some interesting tidbits from a presentation on harnessing relationships between clients and their agencies by Mary Zalla of CEO. Entitled ‘Selling Creativity’, Zalla notes; “It would be great if great work sold itself, but that’s part of the problem. We create brilliant idea’s but spend too little time preparing our presentations to clients. It’s about in
spiring your clients to see the potential in the work we have generated. Helping th
Zalla stressed that while it may not be easy to present, you have to be as creative about presenting the work as you were about creating it;em imagine the future because it is going to change the future for your clients”.
ü It starts with rapport, you have to have empathy with your client and their situation or suspend your own agenda to know what is better for them.
ü It is a relationship characterised by mutual respect, harmony and good communication. When you have a rapport with someone they listen to what you have to say.
ü Creativity is constructive. We have to put it out there in the world, we have got to make a difference. We are often asking clients to take a leap with us and most ideas are pitched poorly. The sad thing about this is that ultimately mediocre work gets produced.
Focus on gaining attention, on being inspiring, connecting on an emotional level. When presenting, our one problem is to overcome fear from our client about changing the status quo. This can be done with familiarity. Maybe you let your client become familiar with some of your thinking beforehand or put something in your presentation that your client is very familiar with, and stay at it if you believe in it. Creativity is courageous, creativity and courage are brothers
How Advertising Can Help Build a Better World – Bill Clinton
One of the key highlights at Cannes was an appearance by former American President, Bill Clinton. Here’s an excerpt from his speech…
“We are here to re-imagine the world. And hey, it’s difficult walking on these beautiful streets, but somebody’s got to do it!
We should be thinking about the sustainable future, like 20 million solar structures in poor villages and then into the world. We are in an interdependent age in the human race. Young people fortunately understand this and are living in the future learning how to solve conflict rather than create it. And advertising lives in the future.
We also have to choose co-operation over conflict. There is a lack of emphasis on what’s important and instead we concentrate on the trivial. This sadly happens in governments around the world.
Ordinary people have more to change in the world. We should all think about how we can do good. For example: imagine how disheartened Greece is? How can the people break out of their current perception of where they are? They are waking up to bad news every day.
Communicators are going to have a profound effect on the world in 20 years’ time. And if I can give one phrase to the world right now it would be ‘mutual empowerment’. Who are you trying to help? People need hope. Wisdom is diversity but it only works if there is a common goal”.
THE POWER OF SOUND FOR BRANDS
A critical factor in producing quality radio ads today is of course the oft-quoted, but sometimes neglected aspect of ‘preproduction’. We simply can’t stress enough the importance of placing value on the appropriate planning of the casting, timing, transla
tion, direction and sound design of radio ads, so when we came across Rio de Janerio-born Zanna Lopez’ presentation on how advertisers
can harness the power of sound for their brands, we were hooked…The presentation, entitled; ‘Just being Loud’ by Zanna Sound, a sound branding agency, zoomed in on the concept of audio branding. This is what she had to say;
“Brands don’t realise that just being loud is no longer working or enough. There are many facets to sounds and we’re working to help make brands see that sound really matters.
Hearing is the first thing that is developed in a foetus and is the most vulnerable. Noise affects us. It has been established that we lose 66% productivity when we are affected by negative sound in the workplace.
There has also been some research done in European supermarkets which revealed that when French music was played for a week, French wine sales went up by 78% and when they played German music for the same period, German wine sales went up by 81%, proving the effect sound has on us”.
The question is: are marketers really optimising on the power that sound can have on the recall of their radio advertising and brands? In response to this, Zanna has created a whole need method to sound branding, which can help givebrands a whole sound identity. She asks; “How are brands using sound (sound diagnosis)?Treat the brand as a person and work out the personality attributes such as Rhythm, Harmony, Instrumentation and Melody”.
Next, she starts creating the sound and it works across the whole sound scape for the brand, right from the theme, to logo, brand voice, sound design and brand music. The sound application is then used to create a whole integrated sound experience.
To illustrate her point, Lopez mentioned case study for Metrorail in Rio – Metrorio. Here they not only created the full musical sound identity but also re-trained the conductors to talk in a new paradigm.
They then engineered sound effects of (bustling and birds tweeting)to go with the music in stations so the whole ‘station/waiting for a train’ experience became peaceful and calm.
To end off, she says; “When choosing a brand voice, it’s imperative that you ask: Do I want to ‘lure’ or ‘unite’ my customers?”