HD Radio Alliance responds to ad criticism


Peter Ferrara, HD Radio Alliance CEO, responded to criticisms from two major radio industry figures on the effectiveness of the Alliance’s latest radio spots.

In his blog, Dave Martin noted that after 400 million in air time were spent to promote HD radio, only half-million HD receivers have been sold: "Either radio is not an effective media to get the message out, the wrong communications channel to use in selling radios and driving web traffic or the messaging is not right. My conclusion is the messaging is wrong, clearly not effective."

Fred Jacobs of Jacobs Media noted, "In a sort of snarky approach, the campaign features a humanized radio talking to his owner about why HD Radio product is so attractive and not worth the bother. But in the process, traditional radio is repositioned as old-fashioned, repetitive, and lame.”

Ferrara responded:

“Fred (and all) –

We’re sorry you didn’t enjoy the spots. We are working with an one of the top brand building ad agencies in the country that’s done great things for clients like Southwest Airlines, BMW, MasterCard, AT&T and the PGA Tour. We explained our challenge, the current status of HD Radio and asked them for their honest evaluation and recommendation.

It’s completely natural for all of us in the radio business to bristle at the thought that not everyone shares our passion and commitment to our medium. The truth is that these spots aren’t aimed at you and me – and we need to have the courage to engage the folks we’re trying to reach in a way that speaks to the way they see it. And when we connect with them on that, authentic level, we can hope to re-engage them in what’s outstanding about radio.

In the meantime, all of us in radio’s inner circle have an opportunity to trust in the experience and the track record of an ad agency that’s been here before.”

RBR observation: Really, and as we’ve said before, the real hook for HD Radio should be to be able to get the variety of satellite radio for free. “Enjoy your favorite stations in digital sound, as well as hear a bunch more with no subscription fee.” Then play a bunch of sound snippets of the songs folks would hear—Indie Rock tunes, techno, reggae, etc….