In recognition of the marketers who have created and championed groundbreaking radio advertising this year, the Radio Mercury Awards announced that the Barack Obama 2008 Presidential Campaign, The Coca-Cola Company, GEICO, The Hershey’s Company, McDonald’s, Mercedes-Benz and Wal-Mart are finalists in the first annual Marketer of the Year Award. The winner will be announced at the 2009 Radio Mercury Awards on June 17 in New York City.
The finalists for the Marketer of the Year Award were selected from the following categories: Automobile, Beverage, Consumer Product Goods, Insurance, Retail, Quick Serve Restaurant and Political.
The award is designed to honor marketers for their strategic use of radio as a central component of an advertising campaign, and their bold and unconventional thinking that is helping to shape the future of radio advertising. These marketers were also recognized for campaigns that delivered on the brand message, capitalized on radio’s ability to reach both localized and national audiences and utilized radio as a multiplatform medium.
Radio played an important role in Barack Obama’s historic run to the White House. Executing an aggressive radio campaign — outspending the McCain campaign four fold in 2008 — the strategy followed a targeted and segmented approach to radio advertising, including a concerted push in key battleground states, such as like Florida, Colorado, Ohio, Virginia, and North Carolina.
In 2008, Coca-Cola created ads that utilized radio’s one-to one relationship with consumers to communicate key brand messages. To promote its Full Throttle brand, Coca-Cola used radio’s sense of immediacy to drive retail traffic when consumers are listening in the car. In an effort to raise public awareness for their American war letters campaign, GEICO’s radio ads showcased the ability emotionally engage listeners through the strength of audio. Hershey’s tapped into the personal characteristics of radio and integrated on-air contests, DJ endorsements, and station appearances at retail to build relationships with radio listeners.
Throughout the year, McDonald’s developed multiple creative executions of a message in order to directly speak to distinct niche consumer targets such as Moms, teens, Hispanic and African American audiences. Mercedes-Benz focused on building its presence on local market stations and radio personality banter to establish its value to consumers. Additionally, Wal-Mart showcased radio’s national reach and local market scalability to boost sales for the release of exclusive products as well as to drive traffic for store openings.