Frustrated with an annoying radio personality on Triple J, my staple radio diet, I decided to flick over to commercial radio for a temporary listen, hoping for one of those no-ad-marathons. Unfortunately, I was absolutely pummelled with really really really bad advertising. If television advertising is like shopping at Target, this was like shopping at Red Dot – bargain
basement stuff.

I thought – I work in the industry, I should really listen in just to see who’s advertising, and how good it is. What I experienced, however, was a mish-mash of badly written jingles, clique sales terms, mis-pronounced words (the most frustrating being a company boasting the fact that it’s local, whilst mis-pronouncing the town’s name – really – how hard is it to check your ad before it goes to air!), over-, and under-, emphasised emotions, bad acting, and no strategy whatsoever. Most of the ads made no sense – you may as well repeat the name of your company over and over again for 15 or 30 seconds and be done with it. In fact, this would probably be more effective than some of the ads I heard.

I think to myself – I wonder whether this advertising really works for these companies, who most likely have purchased an advertising package worth a few thousand dollars, and received ad production thrown in as an added bonus. (The fact that commercial radio stations offer these packages makes me even angrier – production is thrown in as an added bonus – free of charge. This is the most important part of any advertising – not a throw-in-extra!) They probably say ‘yeah, it’s got us a few leads’. But I’ll bet that’s because they’ve never tried anything different, don’t have the time to think about marketing, and couldn’t care less that their staff get teased at parties and social gatherings because their workplace has the worst radio ad in history.

It is clear that radio advertising needs a shake up, especially in regional areas. Radio stations will continue to suffer if they condone such awful standards. If not, I think they will very soon be declaring me insane.