We call radio the friendly format because that’s what it is.
Earlier today I was on the phone with a prospective client discussing advertising formats that they’ve not explored before. We got to radio advertising, which, in view of the latest RAJAR listening figures, makes for a great conversation given the successes the medium has been having in recent years.
I explained that two of the greatest strengths of radio lie in its ability to be functional and friendly. The prospective client understood how radio could be functional (traffic and travel announcements, weather and news updates to name just a few) but couldn’t understand the benefit to a brand of the format being friendly.
We call radio the friendly format because that’s what it is. From being there for us when we need a pep first thing in the morning, supporting us through commutes to keeping us entertained in the evening, we rely on our radio stations in the same way we do our friends, using it for close emotional support in a way that mimics actual friendship.
Like spending time with a favourite friend, spending time with a favourite radio station actually makes us happy too: according to research carried out by Radio Centre, listening to the radio makes people happier than watching TV or surfing the Internet (you can read the full findings here). It surprises some to hear that radio accounts for over a quarter of people’s media consumption in the UK, but taking into account the intimate (we usually listen alone) and emotional impact it has on the listener, it really shouldn’t.