On Radio Anything's Possible

  • It's well established that sounds enter the brain faster than visuals, and the memory of those sounds fades more slowly.

    Which is why, as Paul Harvey once pointed out, as a kid in the classroom, you could answer the teacher's question, "What did I just say?" accurately, even though you'd been daydreaming and your thoughts were a million miles away moments before.

    Speech is mankind's primary form of interpersonal communication. And radio, because it is the only pure audio medium, is the most intimate and personal of all advertising media.

    Radio also happens to be the most visual of all media.

    Say what?

    It's true. Pictures in the mind are more vivid, more personal, and therefore more "real" to us. And they're unique. A hundred people can read the same book, but each will have different pictures of the people and places described in the story.  

    These things came to mind as I watched the video accompanying the Call for Entries to this year's Radio Mercury Awards (radio's counterpart to the Oscars).

    Wasn't that fun?

    Wait a minute, you say. Aren't you contradicting yourself? That's a video.

    Of course it is.

    But when there wasn't a picture on the screen, you were still seeing something quite vividly in your mind!

    That's the power of pure audio. That's the power of radio.

    Still unsure? Listen to this. 

    Makes the point, doesn't it?

    Produced by WBEB-FM in Philadelphia, that commercial won the 2010 Radio Mercury Award in the Station Produced category. (Six years earlier, I'd been honored with the same award for a spot I'd created for Keeney Bros. Music Centers, entitled "Dreaming.") What many Radio Mercury-winning spots* have in common is that they're entertaining, captivating, and visual.

    Whether your goal is long-term brand-building or short-term cash-register-ringing you need, you really ought to explore what radio advertising can do for you. If you'd like to learn more, give me a call

    *Want to hear some of the most engaging radio commercials ever produced? Check out the Radio Mercury winners archive. You're welcome.


    Rod-148x150Rod Schwartz backed into a lifelong career in radio advertising in 1973 in Springfield, Illinois. He became sales manager for the Pullman Radio Group in 1979 and served in that position until 2006. He continues to serve clients in the region as the stations’ senior account executive. Since 1991, Rod and his family have operated Grace Broadcast Sales, providing short-form syndicated radio features to radio and TV stations across the U.S. and Canada. An avid photographer, Rod shares some of his favorite images of the Palouse at PalousePics.com.