Clear Channel Media and Entertainment has formed a Creative Advisory Council with senior ad agency execs including Jeff Benjamin, CEO of JWT North America; Andrew Essex, vice chairman and CEO at Droga5; Andrew Keller, partner and CEO at CP&B; and Benjamin Palmer, CEO and chief creative officer at The Barbarian Group. The council’s first project is a scholarship for a creative industry exec to attend the Berlin School starting in July and work toward an executive MBA.
“Talking to creative agencies, we all agreed that radio has been put to one side and not given the level of creativity it warrants, given the importance it has,” Bob Pittman, CCME CEO, told AdAge.
Up and-coming creative talent at agencies often gravitates toward TV or social and digital media according to Tim Castelli, president of national sales, marketing and partnerships for CCME: “We found the best people weren’t working on it, or it was an afterthought.”
Some advertisers have been more innovative with radio than others, Pittman said. Geico, for example, runs campaigns that closely reflect its TV advertising, he said. Others have have successfully mixed radio with social media, he said, citing Macy’s “iHeart Radio Rising Star” campaign with Clear Channel, now in its third year, in which listeners and Macy’s shoppers vote for new musicians on Facebook and Twitter.
The Berlin School scholarship is meant to develop creative leadership in audio and in turn drive excitement among the creative community. Entries will be judged by Berlin School instructors and the Creativity Advisory Council. The council plans to meet regularly throughout the year and to develop research and case studies around audio communications.
RBR-TVBR observation: Convincing agencies that a radio component is essential to a campaign that may include TV and social media is the first step to drive more creativity into the medium. If it’s a big campaign and radio ends up getting a piece of it, the agencies will focus more on radio creative. Local stations often conceptualize and create their own campaign—and spec ads—to woo a client. Maybe the Creative Advisory Council can foster similar efforts on a national level—be a creative resource beyond showing case studies and research. And one last note: Pittman and any other major radio group CEO should be attending ad conferences and meeting advertisers and agency creatives/management as much as possible.