Radio Hed: In Praise of Print

Radio-Hed-Logo-2By Jeffrey Hedquist

Print is a wonderful advertising medium. Really. I’m including newspapers, magazines, direct mail letters, brochures, coupons, doorknob hangers, postcards, matchbook covers, email and web sites in this category.

You can do things in print you can’t do as effectively on radio.

A print ad can give you longevity. People can cut out ads for future reference, post them on their refrigerators, put them on their car seats, and pass them along to friends. Print gives you pictures, it lets you examine the details of various models, compare the prices, features, colors and sizes. It gives you incredible intellectual detail.

However– emotions and feelings are what trigger purchasing decisions. This is radio’s playing field. Radio can touch the heart, enliven memories, and evoke emotions because it’s the ultimate storytelling medium. Stories have been an oral tradition for thousands of years before print came into being.

While print advertising must be digested by the mind before it can begin to affect the emotions, radio is a direct IV drip into our unconscious. It’s fast, visceral and direct - if it’s crafted for the ear, not the eye.

Advertisers rarely understand how to use radio. They’ve been brought up on print. When they think of advertising they think of pictures and words. They want to put their print ads on the radio. It doesn’t work. It’s like trying to show pictures of sound effects and music on a page. You might get an idea of what’s being described, but you wouldn’t feel it.

Print has its place in the advertising mix, but without the emotional component that radio can provide, it’s like asking for the order before you win the prospect over.

Print can be a great compliment to radio. Once you’ve touched prospects’ imaginations and won their hearts aurally, they can check out the details in print.

So, before you dismiss the visual media, consider them as complimentary and encourage your clients to use each medium as it is meant to be used.

© 2004 Hedquist Productions, Inc.

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