Andrew Hampp's article in Advertising Age (the online version includes an 8-minute video excerpt from the roundtable) is enlightening and instructive, a valuable read for any radio advertising sales or creative professional.
Toward the end of the video, RAB President Jeff Haley talks about a Houston study by Coleman Research in which researchers observed listener behavior during 92,000 commercial "pods." Haley noted that the "breakaway" (listeners going elsewhere) was just 8%, even in the middle of a lengthy 6-minute break. The majority of listeners stayed with their station.
NOTE: That's not perception; that's measured behavior!
But if you listen carefully to this segment of the video, right after Mr. Haley mentions people listening to 92,000 commercial pods, one of the panelists interjects, "Poor people!"
Why did he say that?
Obviously, because many (if not most) ads on radio are notoriously "bad."
"Radio needs to get better before radio ads can get better," said Crispin's Bill Wright. "When I read a magazine, all the ads don't annoy me. When I watch TV, all the ads don't annoy me. Even when you do a good radio spot, it's still the best-looking house in a bad neighborhood."
There's our problem. And our opportunity. To change, one ad at a time, one client at a time, on stations across America, the quality of the commercials we write and produce.
Radio, as a medium, is powerful, versatile, and personal. It's everything an advertiser could ask for.
But radio advertising needs to improve, to exploit the full potential of our medium, to achieve its highest and best uses in the marketplace.
This is our job, our challenge, and our responsibility as radio advertising professionals. We can't make the industry better apart from making our commercials better. And that, my friend, is an individual operation.