“I’ve always thought you needed visuals to advertise a car brand?”
‘Two sides to the same coin’ or so the old adage goes, so when this gem;“I’ve always thought you needed visuals to advertise a car brand?”, arrived in our inbox, we put it to media expert, The Mediashop’s Richard Lord as well as creative genie Singh&Son’s Roger Paulse to find a happy ‘medium’…
Singh&Sons Executive Creative Director Roger Paulse says;
The answer is: “Yes, you do”.
Consumers have a lot of rational reasons to buy a specific car, but even two dozen rational reasons rarely convinces a consumer to buy a car that he or she thinks, looks ugly.
Consumers want cars that look powerful. Or cute. Or futuristic. Or French. Powerful? Cute? French?
These are tropes radio has been great at dramatising for decades. I would never suggest only using radio to sell a car, but assuming that it’s part of a wider campaign, radio does have its place. And that place is between your ears, not in them!
I’m interested in cars beyond their obvious purpose: getting from A-B. I know the history of the brand I drive. I know the exact capacity of my fuel tank. I know how many kWs the engine can produce.
But for most people, cars are about something far more important. For the young driver it’s about independence; going on a date without having to be driven there. For others it’s about getting to work safely in a country that doesn’t have the best public transport. For parents it’s the best way to keep their kids safe during a journey.
These are the emotions and desires that consumers have regarding cars. They’re perfect to dramatise on radio, because they’re personal. And every ad on radio is interpreted according to the listener’s
individual experiences. A visual medium shows exactly what is. Radio allows listeners to experience ‘what can be’.
For all the importance of what cars look like, the fact is that most of us spend much more time in our car rather than looking at it.
The Mediashop’s Associate Media Director Richard Lord responds…
It is a commonly held misconception by many vehicle advertisers and their agencies that radio cannot be used to sell cars as it is not visual. They believe that consumers need to see a car in order to want it.
While visual media can convey a sense of speed, style, quality and looks, there are many aspects of a vehicle that do not need to be conveyed visually. These include safety, fuel efficiency, maintenance plans and CO2 carbon emissions.
These are all critical components that people look for when choosing a vehicle and all of them contribute towards one’s overall perception of a car brand.
Radio is in fact ideally suited to car advertising – the main reason being that the majority of radio listening happens in the car – and what better place to try and sell someone a new car than when they are sitting
The vehicle market is increasingly cluttered and manufacturers are constantly fighting for market share. This means that strategically top of mind recall is of paramount importance and radio is ideal for creating this. in their old one!
Static media such as press and magazines are great for reaching the in-market consumer i.e. those people ready to buy a car now, but they’re not so good at reaching those people not in the market…it’s too easy to turn over the page.
Radio on the other hand has very low levels of ad avoidance and so has a unique ability of reaching both in and out of market consumers – that way when I am in the market for a new car in 6 months’ time, I have already been exposed to Brand X’s communication, making them a ready option on my consideration list.
In fact, research done in the UK by the RAB, suggests that ad awareness for vehicle manufacturers amongst radio listeners is 67% higher than for non-radio listeners. Clearly radio’s doing something right!