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COVID-19 & The Radio Creative

How the creative side of radio has been impacted by recent events

Consumer behaviour has changed yet radio has been able to fulfil its role as a reliable, trusted medium that provides a sense of comfort and builds community. We have written a variety of articles discussing how radio has adapted to the changes brought upon the industry during COVID-19. However, this week we are going to explore how the creative side of radio has been impacted and the trends that have arisen in this new reality. We spoke to Marc Dwyer, Creative at SCA’s The Studio based in Sydney, Australia. 

Mark told us that generally speaking, there has been a transition away from hard sales and Call To Action style commercials in Australian radio, as businesses have made the choice to pivot towards more pure branding and 'solutions based' advertising. Eg; “here’s what we can do for you”, or “if you need help with X, call us and we’ll do Y.”

"The shift of tone was quite noticeable, with almost all big businesses opting for extra levels of empathy and understanding in their messaging, music and tone of voice. I think for the first time in a very long time everyone was on the same page when it came to national levels of anxiety and uncertainty around health and the economy, so advertisers made the smart decision to try and induce calm and reassure listeners, rather than to add to the drama that was/is constantly unfolding in 2020."

However, Marc emphasises that one of the issues with this message, was the repetitive nature of this style of creative. 

"A lot of cliché phrases very quickly became over used and the market was saturated with similar messaging styles; “we’re all in this together”, “we’re here for you” and the classic “unprecedented times” were very quickly everywhere and we could sense they lost their genuine meaning and burnt out in the listeners minds pretty quickly."

To summarise, there has been a noticeable creative shift towards empathy and care which has been demonstrated through new and unique messaging, music and voice choices. This insight from Marc Dwyer provides valuable perspective into what is happening in the creative radio scene in Australia, and the way businesses have approached their advertising during these times. No doubt, this snapshot is comparable to the changes and trends around the world.
If you want to tell us more about what you are discovering in your market, send an email to katalina@radiodayseurope.com