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Placing More Importance On Creative

date 30th January 2020
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Our key focus at The Radio Bureau is nailing radio planning and placement, however we would be remiss to ignore the impact that creative has on a campaign’s effectiveness.

A Nielsen Catalina Solutions study on advertising elements and their specific effect on sales, concluded that creative was the most important feature (47%) with reach trailing behind at 22% significance.

While we’re holding strong on strategy, it’s peak time for the industry to collectively channel energy into making sure the creative message is marrying the media and in turn achieving the client’s objectives.

This sentiment was shared by Eardrum founder Ralph van Dijk at a TRB event, “Being more involved in what’s actually being broadcast, the actual message and having an understanding of what makes great communication... that’s the first step”.

In an attempt to be more involved in this communication, we spoke to NZ’s industry experts to get their thoughts on what makes outstanding radio creative:

“Get the planning and placement right - the right stations at the right time of the day for your target consumers - couple that with creative that uses radio’s strengths in theatre of the mind storytelling and sonic cue recognition to sell the benefits of your product to that audience and you can’t lose.” - Dr Matt Mollgaard, Head of Department, Radio & Audio Media, Auckland University of Technology.

“The voice is the connection between your message and the listener. It’s important to have the right voice and the language used in radio commercials is relatable to the audience.” - Glenn Dwight, Creative Director, NZME.

Example - Jack Links

“Getting a listener to have an emotional response to your message is very strong. The listener may not like the advertising content, or what is being said, but having the listener connect emotionally, rather than rationally, will often result in a longer and stronger connection.” - Jon Strutton, Creative Director, Mediaworks.

Example - DHB

Understanding your audience is crucial. Just as we plan towards a specific demographic, we’ve also got to make sure creative is focused on what’s important to that group, what resonates and invokes a reaction with them.” - Peter Richardson, General Manager, The Radio Bureau.

Recurring themes from this advice seem to be making sure communication is relevant to a potential customer and that it makes the listener feel something.


Each year we set out to recognise and endorse outstanding radio creative with the ORCAs (Outstanding Radio Creative Awards). The Radio Bureau aims to encourage creatives in the advertising industry to let their talents loose and explore the many options afforded by radio.

There is certainly plenty of letting loose to be done by our Grand Orca winner, who takes home a $10,000 cash prize and a $10,000 client radio campaign. There will also be an opportunity to vote (or win) the People’s Choice Award.

Think you have an exemplary piece of creative? Enter into the 2020 ORCAs here.

Source: Percent Sales Contribution by Advertising Element. Period 2016-Q1 2017. Nielsen Catalina Solutions.

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