Clear Channel Radio’s Creative Services Group has released a series of ads promoting HD Radio. The campaign entitled “Are You Def Yet?” features some well produced ads that for the most part miss the mark and will fail to move the needle toward acceptance of HD radio.
HD Radio for the uniformed (which is most of us) is a new digital broadcast technology providing improved the sound quality and allows multiple stations to broadcast on a single signal. There are only a handful of radios currently available that can actually pick up these signals and only a handful of radio stations broadcasting in HD.
We are in the 3rd year of a new generational mindset, a mindset that rejects hype and cries out for truth. This is where most of the ads in the campaign fail.
Several of the ads compare the lyrics the typical teen listener would hear to what their parents hear. For example the lyrics of a rap song are interpreted by adults as “sex, sex, sex.” The ad goes on to say “And that’s why your parents don’t want you to have an HD Radio.” Huh? Exactly what percentage of parents would ever say “I don’t want you to have an HD Radio?” Pretty close to zero.
So let’s be real. New HD stations are regulated by the FCC the same as all other broadcast stations. In other words even though the sound may be clearer listeners won’t hear anything different than currently available on the radio.
Another example is “The Rural Rump Slap Rap” with lyrics that mention “I’m White Trash and I’m slapping (you get the picture)” again with the promise that you can’t hear that on regular radio but you can on HD. Uh, not likely. When early adopters turn to HD Radio in search of something radically different and aren’t able to find it word of the fraud will spread like wildfire.
Having been assaulted by hype and empty promises for 40 years consumers have grown weary and wary. When our internal BS meters detect phoniness our mind shuts out the offending message. Cute, clever and creative are poor substitutes for real, salience and truth.
The problems with the HD Radio ads are heard everyday in ads for all types of businesses. If your advertising isn’t working as well as it did 4 or 5 years ago it mos def be that you’re still relying on the power of the delivery rather than the power of your message.