Radio Fine-Tunes For More Political Ads
January 22, 2008 at 7:29 AM (PT)
Radio has long been an also-ran to television in the political advertising game, but this year's wide-open presidential race has radio broadcasters hustling for a bigger piece of the record $3 billion pot, reports YAHOO BUSINESS. "We've been very aggressive in pursuing our case," said CBS RADIO CEO DAN MASON. "I would be extremely disappointed if this weren't a record political year in our company."
Other major broadcasters are also reaching out directly to political campaigns, their advisers and the major agencies that specialize in placing political ads. They're also trying to make radio ads easier to buy by offering campaigns one-stop shopping for groups of stations; offering a greater variety of spot lengths and guarantees of when spots will run.
INTEREP RADIO SALES Pres. MIKE WALSH said his firm is, for the first time, aligning itself with political consultants who shape media strategies for candidates. "In the past, we've just basically relied on the business that was coming out of the political agencies in WASHINGTON," WALSH said. "What we need to do as an industry is get closer to where the advertising decisions are being made."
Is Radio Not Sexy?
Part of the problem, radio and advertising executives say, is that political consultants and TV outlets have become accustomed to doing big business together every two years during election cycles -- something that some say short-changes the effectiveness of radio.
"The problem is it's not sexy and media consultants don't push radio," said WILL FELTUS of NATIONAL MEDIA, a major ad-buying agency for REPUBLICAN candidates that's handling ads for MITT ROMNEY this year.
"The buzzword in politics has become microtargeting," says CAMPAIGN MEDIA ANALYSIS GROUP COO EVAN TRACEY. "People are trying to identify constituencies within a voting block -- say, soccer moms who drive minivans. Chances are, soccer moms driving minivans may be listening to the radio."