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As much as the Covid-19 crisis has brought much of the economy and thus also advertising business to its knees, it is also interesting to note that the same crisis has now put of all things the classic media back into spotlight of advertisers. First and foremost, television, but also newspapers, magazines, and naturally also linear radio. Contrary to all predictions of the "fundamentalist digitalists" who see the future of media exclusively on the internet and like broken records declare linear genres dead.
Because whether customers or agencies, the advertising trade is always hot on the trail of consumers. And the latter tended to rely more on classic media than digital media during the pandemic. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and co. may stand for all kinds of things, but they aren't representative of objective reporting, security and transparency. This is the explanation for why young, internet savvy people choose to focus on "real values" during uncertain times, and the old strengths of classic media are shown to advantage, namely, quality, reliability and high credibility – in particular at the regional and local level. Most advertisers realized this, and demand for advertising spaces on TV, radio and in print media increased noticeably according to research conducted by the advertising journal Horizont. In a longer article entitled "Zurück zur Klassik", author Katrin Ansorge aptly summarizes the trend to the return to the classic forms of advertising (Issue 33-34/2021, August 19, 2021)
It comes as no surprise to me, however. Those who know me and have read my blog posts know that I am already absolutely convinced of the future of the traditional medium of radio. Its future is linked to and converges with digital media/audio offerings, but is strong linearly, specifically at the regional and local level. There will always be a demand for good curated local radio programming – not just during times of crisis. And, naturally, advertising also profits from a high-quality editorial programming environment, from the credibility and stabilizing effect of local radio.
When it comes to the infinite number of digital media's advertising options and the absolute precision of extreme targeting, it remains to be seen what the impact of limiting cookies will be. And we can also look forward to future proof of the absolute effectiveness of digital targeting.
But, please, dear reader, don't get me wrong. I of course do not mean that classic media will rise from the ashes like the Phoenix after the pandemic, replace internet advertising and apportion the advertising cake out among themselves like they used to. I am, however, convinced that the "rediscovery" of old values of strengths may be here to stay ... or it could be.
I am sure that radio/audio has every chance of remaining advertising media of equal value and equal rights in the mixed bag of media genres – both digital as well as linear. Provided radio broadcasters invest in a good program, in improving regional focus, specifically in their local studios, as well as in the digital transformation of their companies. Being technically up to date, making business processes and workflows digital has competitive advantages today. This will be the ticket tomorrow that will provide access to the digital and automated advertising market.
Yours, Nico Aprile
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