Radio

16 Apr

I am a huge fan of advertising on the radio. This does not mean I like radio adverts; for the most part, they suck. Around one in ten is bearable and around one in a hundred seems truly excellent. Most are dreck. I wanted to review an ad from Tfl which I like, and here is the other great difference between ads on TV and ads on the radio (the first being obvious): TV ads sit comforatbly on YouTube and, if they are great, on numerous blogs. A good radio ad is lucky to appear on the website of the agency which created it or the client which bought it.

And so it is with the Tfl ad. I searched Google in vain. I emailed Tfl but got no response. I even emailed the Radio Advertising Bureau – surely they could help? In the end I gave up waiting. The ad was simple – the Chariots of Fire theme tune played on car horns. We are told that there will be traffic disruptions around the Olympics and to go to the Tfl website to find out more. Not world changing but a small gem nonetheless. A one in ten.

The other ad, however, is lucky enough to appear on the website of its sponsor, an organisation called Armed Forces Day. I have no idea what Armed Forces Day is and the ad leaves me none the wiser. Listen to it yourself here:

watch_and_listen.aspx

It’s excruciating. Never have six ‘members of the public’ appeared so fake. A Caribbean woman says “I was reading about the Royal Navy stopping them drug smugglers, and I thought ‘good on you'”.  Which drug smugglers? And there’s a big difference between saying ‘good on you’ and wasting a day at an event to really get to understand how the Navy stops contraband entering the United Kingdom. And an even bigger difference between that and going on national radio telling people about it. Absolutely toe curling, along with the teenager whose granddad was in the War, ie, born around 1920. For real? How old are his parents? It’s only made more dreadful by being on so often.

The ad is so fake you wonder how genuine anything you see at the event will be. A lazy answer to a great brief that tells me nothing about Armed Forces Day and which makes me want to switch radio channels every time it comes on. A 99 in a 100.

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