FM Advertising is different from TV Advertising!

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This rant i’ve been saving for a long time. This is for all the ad executives out there. In what universe do you think if you take the video out of a TVC, you still retain the same message? How? Why? Somebody please explain this to me!

Case in point: Mezan cooking oil, with their TVC slogan claiming, ‘Har cheez mezan mein ache lagti hai’.

Watch the ad once. Now close your eyes and listen to the ad. What part of the ‘audio’ tells you that mezan is actually a cooking oil? Now imagine listening to it, non stop, in your car while you are driving to, or home from work, and what would you hear? A public service message telling you to maintain balance in your life? Or maybe a teaser of something to come?

Now for the advice to ad execs: When you are buying air time on radio, atleast make sure you have something worth airing! The radio is not a visual medium and it doesn’t matter if you’ve spent millions creating the most moving TVC, if it doesn’t contain the product’s name, the description and your selling point, its useless! Take a cue from Radio1 FM91, when they have their RJ’s read through a script either describing the product or promoting it, rather than a useless jingle (even though they’ve gone over to the dark side lately as well). Case in point: Knorr’s recent campaign about their new soups on FM91. They had sophia telling the audience why its good for them, and why they should use it because she’s also going to use it. It was highly irritating given her voice, but a very good use of the medium! The point is, have a version of your advertisement campaign that is NOT VISUAL! You’re creative right? Put some creativity into it.

And this part is for marketing execs so they can push their respective ad execs: So why spend the extra effort? The radio is a very potent medium for advertising because of its mass appeal. Millions listen to it across the country, especially after the proliferation of mobile phone integrated radios etc. All these people are those who are potential buyers of your product. If you just throw jingles at them without telling what your product is and how/why should they buy it, you are just spending your advertising budget ‘entertaining’ your customer without building any real sales.

I’ve heard that companies do it in order to bolster their visual campaigns, but seriously? Do you really want to depend on the fact that the user ‘may’ have seen your ad on tv and ‘may’ repeat it in their head if the jingle is repeated? Are you really betting your advertising budget on that assumption?

Think about it!

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3 Comments

  • Asim Sarfraz

    In my opinion in order to correctly understand advertising or to learn even the fundamentals it’s important to start with the right conception.

    Advertising in plain brick and mortar terms is : salesmanship. Its principles are the principles of salesmanship. Successes and failures in both lines are due to like causes. Thus every advertising question should be answered by a “salesman’s” standards not by amusement standards.

    Some argue for slogans, some like clever conceits. Would you use them in personal salesmanship? Can you imagine a customer whom such things would impress? If
    not, don’t rely on them for selling. I believe in advertising the only people we get interested are people whom our subject interests. No one watches or listens to ads for amusement, long or short. Customers are not stupid, they are spending money and it is a serious matter. Most product developers assume they are more smart than their customers, well the hard fact is they are not. Respecting your customers and value their judgment and intelligence is what I would recommend.

    It’s a very common sense of a matter. Consider people as prospects standing before you, seeking for information. Shouldn’t you give them enough to get action? Ads should not be designed to entertain. When they do, those entertainment seekers are little likely to be the people whom you want. That is one of the greatest advertising faults. Ad-builders really don’t understand their parts. They forget they are salesmen and try to be performers. Instead of sales, they seek applause.

    I would consider it a very simple rule, which I don’t think many “MBA” classes will teach you. When people plan and prepare an advertisement, they should a typical before them. The subject, the catch line once has gained his or her attention. rest should be guided by what you would do if you met the buyer face-to-face.

    In principle you hardly see fine talkers as rarely good salesmen. Contrary to the glorified Hollywood personification of over smart,ruthless, virile, and immoral, image of a salesman from Glengarry Glen Ross, successful salesmen from are rarely good speech makers. They have few oratorical graces. They are plain and sincere men who know their customers and know their lines. So it is in advertisements.

  • What I would like to add to Mansoor’s piece is that ad manager’s really need to start adding some real substance to their messages. I agree that tv ads can’t simply be aired for a radio audience because the message is, in most cases, diluted or lost without the visual images. I would take it a step further and add that ad managers need to include more informative content and less of the entertaining jingles to be truly effective. Or at least find the right balance between “entertaining” and “informative”. Case in point: I still don’t know the difference between Djuice, Indigo, and Zong (ok Zong just started, so we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt). Wouldn’t it be more effective to place simpler but more transparent names to your calling plans like “Talk 100” for a plan that offers 100 free minutes? If there’s anything we get out of this discussion, it’s that: Ad managers need to talk to their audience and see if their message is truly getting across. And if not, it’s good time to go back to the drawing board and re-brainstorm your ad strategy. I’m no marketing guru, but this should be pretty intuitive for anyone with a marketing mind.

  • very good points from both of you.

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