RAB: Top Media Buyers See Radio As Ad Biz’s ‘Hidden Jewel’.

Curious about how top media buyers perceive radio? The Radio Advertising Bureau offers first-person commentary from agency executives in the organization’s “Q Report Video.” It specifically talks about how creatives use radio in the RAB’s home base of Dallas—and why it is essential to their media mix.

RAB President and CEO Erica Farber pointed out that Dallas is somewhat of a microcosm of the nation, with a “vibrant and thriving advertising community, from local and regional advertisers to Dallas-based advertising agencies serving national clients,” she said. “Dallas is known to be a creative advertising hub.” It offers 200+ creative media and marketing agencies, and is the national headquarters of AT&T, 7-Eleven, Six Flags, Southwest and American Airlines, and Exxon Mobil.

Offering a take of radio’s classic theater of the mind, The Richards Group’s Stan Richards said in the video, “You can use radio and you can tell a great story—and tell it in a charming, endearing and illuminating way that people respond to.”

Similarly, Pete Lerma with Hispanic agency Richards/Lerma, said, “I’m a huge believer in the power of audio. It can spark the imagination, it can make you excited, it can make you sad and make you feel a sense of urgency. As creatives, we have to find a way to harness that and meet brand objectives. In that, radio becomes a very important part of the equation.”

Of course, some agencies—particularly those with Millennials in place as executives—don’t always understand the real potency of the medium. Diane Fanon of The Richards Group believes that in many ways, audio trumps video. “You can’t rely on any kind of visual drama or photography style or lighting that a director uses to tell a story—but you still have to tell a story,” she said.

“The ability to write in a way that makes someone see what you’re talking is undervalued, underestimated and under-evaluated,” Fanon added. “You don’t find many agencies that place importance on radio. It goes to a junior writer.” But with her agency: “It goes to creative directors because they know how to paint that picture and tell that story.”

Mary Price of The Richards Group added that radio is a hidden jewel for many advertisers. “Because radio may be underutilized, there is a lot less clutter for your client; and because it is less expensive than television, often times you can do more. Radio should definitely be considered more often than it probably is. I think it’s like a little secret sometimes that other people are overlooking, but we are able to take advantage of it for our clients.”

The Richards Group’s Chris Smith acknowledges that audio is the “oldest mass medium,” and yet he believes “this is a golden age for audio. There are more ways to deliver it, more ways to consume it, and the quality and variety is better than ever.”

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