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Radio Advertising in India
Radio advertising can be aptly called word of mouth advertising. It is a different medium that attract us through sound. Its popularity was at its peak during the first half of 20th Century till television hit the scene. Still radio is a vital medium of advertising.
In India, radio broadcasting was started in 1927 with two privately owned transmitters at Bombay and Calcutta. Government took them over in 1930 and started operating under the name Indian Broadcasting Service. In 1936, the Indian Broadcasting Service was renamed as All India Radio. Commercial broadcasting started only in 1967 on Bombay, Nagpur and Pune stations on experimental basis.
Radio at present covers 97.5% of the total population and 91% of total area of India. There are 150 medium wave transmitters, 54 short wave transmitters and 104 F.M. transmitters. There are 205 radio stations.
Types of Radio Advertisements
There are four major types of radio advertising, namely, straight commercials, dialogue commercials, dramatized commercials and integrated commercials.
1. A straight commercial is one that uses sound effects to arrest and hold the attention of listeners describing the product’s features and merits.
2. A dialogue commercial is a kind of testimonial advertising. The advertisement message is conveyed by presenting a the film star, a sports person, or any V.I.P.
3. A dramatized commercial is one where a ‘problem situation’ is dramatized and the product is introduced as a solution to the problem. Humour is used in such dramatization to keep the listeners interested.
4. An Integrated commercial is one where a film star or a player or a V.I.P or even the user of product conducts the programme.
Advantages of Radio Advertising
1. The advertiser can broadcast any number of commercials at time slots he feels as the most appropriate.
2. Listening to radio is still popular, especially in rural India where not all households own television. Hence, it has wider coverage.
3. Radio advertising is understood even by illiterate persons.
4. Advertisements are presented as a story or as a song to make them more interesting.
5. Transistors are mobile in nature. That is, they can be carried and heard outdoors too. So, an advertiser could consider this advantage and advertise in radio.
Disadvantages of Radio Media
1. In the absence of visuals, the impact of radio advertising is only limited.
2. Radio advertising fails to reach the listener if the listener was not concentrating at the time of the brief advertisement.
3. Certain radio programmes contain numerous advertisements. Hence, it is doubtful whether all such advertisements could be remembered by the listener.
4. It is not suitable to products which require a demonstration while advertising.