Sunday, 20 December 2009

A good year for radio adverts ?

Well let’s face it, it’s been a bit of a surreal year.

The radio commercial production industry has had some big highs and it’s fair share of lows.

On the high side, it was great to see (what appears to be) more radio station Commercial Production departments getting the recognition they deserve. I was particularly pleased to see Global Creative up there with the mighty agencies in this year’s Aerial Awards. Generally, Aerial prize winners come from the agency sector, so it was terrific to see a representation from the commercial radio industry.

For me, the news that the Sony Awards is finally recognising the craft of the Commercial Producer was one of my yearly highlights. I really hope station commercial producers embrace the chance to win a Sony. Not only would it prove you’re an excellent Commercial Producer, but also you know your stuff about radio too !

For proddies, ‘Vox’ was an excellent get together. Not only was it great to catch up with old colleagues, but it was interesting to find out how people were doing. Numerous voice artists told me that in 2009, their earnings from radio commercials had plummeted. That was in the spring. Let’s hope things are now showing some improvement.

Another new thing to hit the web this year was Global’s In effect, it’s DIY radio. Book the airtime online, choose a commercial online. I have mixed feelings about the concept. Yes, it’s convenient. But 26 years of experience has taught me that every campaign has it’s own nuances. A generalistic approach to buying radio will not be the ideal solution for every customer.

How has the year been for me ? With a recession, I didn’t expect things to be normal. The early to middle part of the year has been odd. Some great months and months that left me scratching my head wondering ‘what the hell happened there ?’ A lot of clients have opted for ‘safer’ commercials. IE, ads that simply tell it as it is, rather than longer more ‘creative’ campaigns. However, since around September, regular clients began asking for Airforce to develop new exciting ideas. As for new business enquiries: Without doubt, they have been higher than they have been for a long long time.

2010 won’t be the year everyone gets out of the recession, yet there definitely is an excellent feeling of optimism. The work is out there, but all of us have to work a little harder to get it. I’m up for it.

To all readers, thanks for sticking with my rants and opinions. You may not agree with everything, but at least it gives everyone the chance to debate the issues.

Happy Christmas !
Visit the Airforce website here.

John Calvert