Assurances That Come With Advertising On It Can Be Very Comforting
By David Cranfill, President three-sixty-group
As I was growing up, our old mahogany table model radio was one of my best friends. As you might suspect, WIBC 1070AM was our family’s station of choice—even way back in the mid 1950’s. We listened to Bouncing Bill Baker in the morning, Jack Morrow and Jim Shelton during the middle of the day, and Easy Gwen in the afternoon. They were great companions even to a grade school kid like me living on a farm in the far northwest corner of Marion County.
At night we meticulously turned the dial to 1430 so I could hear Luke Walton call the play-by-play of Indianapolis Indians baseball games. I use the word “meticulous” because the dial on our radio tended to drift, and sometimes the station we wanted to hear was hard to find. Because WIRE’s signal was much weaker than 1070AM’s 50,000 “red hot watts”, I had to sit at the kitchen table with my hand touching the bulbs in the back of the radio in order to hear the game. But baseball fan that I was, I happily played the role of the human radio antennae. I still get goose bumps thinking about Rocky Colavito or Joe Altobelli hitting towering home runs over the Victory Field bricks and into “the Stokely pea-patch,” as Luke Walton used to say.
For those who don’t know, Stokely was a large Indianapolis-based company that sold canned fruits and vegetables and sponsored Indians baseball. And the Victory Field I’m referring to is not that beautiful baseball venue in downtown Indianapolis, but rather its historic predecessor located on West 16th Street.
As the old saying goes, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” And judging by my radio listening habits, who am I to argue? My car radio is still set pretty much on 1070 all day long. And at night, I still listen to baseball, only now I tune in to Sirius Radio instead of 1430.
It’s THE FAN’s Mike and Mike in the morning, Dan Dakich at mid-day, and JMV in the afternoons. And they keep me company, entertain, and inform me much like Baker, Morrow, Shelton, and Gwen did 60 years earlier. Even in this increasingly complex and crowded media environment, my radio signal still comes in loud and clear.
- When we’re in the car and want to know what’s going on in the world, we turn on the radio.
- When we’re looking for companionship on the way home from a long day at the office, we turn on the radio.
- When we’re interested in what our friends and neighbors think about last night’s political debate or the direction the stock market is headed, we turn on the radio.
- When we wonder whether it’s going to rain or shine this weekend, we turn on the radio.
- And when we can’t get a ticket to the big game but want to follow all the action, yes, we turn on the radio.
Radio is still an indispensable part of our lives. That’s why it’s still an indispensable part of many corporate advertising plans, too. Radio is personal and interactive. Used correctly, it’s a great way to capture the imagination of listeners, and without breaking the bank to do it. Best of all, radio can still sell product. Our advertising agency, Three Sixty Group, has been recommending radio to clients as part of integrated marketing campaigns for most of its 53-year history. We do it because it works.
As the world continues to evolve, change comes rapidly. And so we look for consistencies in our lives, people and institutions we can trust and depend on. Radio may not be faddish; it may not be cutting edge, and it definitely isn’t the shiniest object in the room. But you can count on it. And in a marketing environment that is fickle and often times untrue, the assurances that come with advertising on the radio can be very comforting.