Radio as a Cost-Effective Advertising Medium

microphoneIn lush green valleys of Abbottabad, during my childhood, I bear sweet memories of the radio programmes with no advertisements to enjoy the melodies of Medhi Hassan and Noor Jehan. In spite of just 40 kilometres away from the great Terbela Dam we had no electricity in our village – hence we were limited to radio devices only.

Our relation with Radio was not confined to Music only, in fact we (old and kids) used to celebrate Cricket team’s victories on Radio with Tariq Raheem and Cheshti Mujahid – and they kept us reminding that “Yeh Rawa Tabsra Wills King Cigarette benany waly Pakistan Tobacco Company kay ta-wan say paish kiya jar aha hay”

Other than Wills King, there were rarely any advertisements on Radio then. However after the deregulation of the electronic media in Musharraf era we saw huge number of FM channels evolving in every city of Pakistan.

One may term Radio as a rare thing in busy urban city life, but in the rural areas of the country, radio is still standing in the hearts and minds of the people. Due to this factor, and years of experience, for the first time in Pakistan’s brief FM history, advertising on radio has started to become a viable option, one that demands a budget and a strategy. It works as a support medium as well as a launching board; it does this because of the basic reason that radio is everywhere and for everyone.

Granted radio has had to be jumpstarted as a medium but its comeback has been fierce. Now millions of people have a favourite frequency, especially while on the road, on study tables, night riders, or for someone in far fields of village. The radio airwaves are accessible to almost anyone with an interest and as a device, a radio is far more affordable especially now thanks to the widespread usage of cell phones with FM options. Everyone’s radio is tuned in and turned on and advertisers, like everyone, would love to have a good listener.

Due to this increased listenership, we see an increasing demand of advertisers to put their products on-board for Radio Advertising. Although it is a fact that advertising is mostly occupied by print and TV, however it is estimated that 5 % of the total advertising budget is being spent on this media.

Radio is majorly capturing local advertisers with local market focus, but we see national and multinationals jumping into the scene as well. Moreover, extremely low cost and high return is fetching hell of advertisers to Radio advertisement.

With the recession crunching every media very badly, it is the radio which is picking the apple of the eyes.

I suggest all the big brands to go for Radio Advertising, at least for time being. And it can be no other then the FM channels available in each and every big city of the country.