At the NAB Radio Show yesterday, the super session, "What America’s Most Influential Marketers Say About Radio," featured commentary from Frank Cooper, Vice President Marketing, Pepsi-Cola North America, and Tony Ponturo, VP of Global Media & Sports Marketing/President & CEO, Anheuser Busch/Busch Media Group. Ray Warren, former Carat USA President and currently a consultant for an out of home 3D network and brand integration/placement company, moderated.
Warren asked, "What the heck happened to radio?! Stations used to be social networks. They were the fabric of our lives. Today radio doesn’t have much of a social life functions, especially among college students."
He mentioned a college station he used to DJ on is no longer even in existence.
The solution voiced by all three was basically that radio has to evolve fundamentally to increase ad spend. Radio and advertisers need to partner more to work on ways to add value to the listeners’ experience.
"Young adults are born into a world of interactivity. Radio needs to find a way to tie into those trends," said Cooper. "What alarms me is I don’t hear people talking about radio ads. There’s no word of mouth. If my ad becomes background noise, that’s concerning."
Ponturo brought up the "Real Men of Genius" radio campaign (to applause) and its success, citing creative is key. "If you can get the DJs saying positive, reliable, credible information about your product, that’s good," he stated. "We’ll give you an appointment-bring us your ideas. Efficiency of time is important. Expect no more than 30 minutes. If you’re in here for an hour, then we’re interested."
Cooper mentioned they are all about experimenting with new ideas to deepen the connection with consumers. "Tie something in with text messaging…we’re letting consumers design the marketing extensions of Mountain Dew for 2008 themselves."