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Brand integration on radio: what it means for brands

In November, I posted about the proposed advances in product placement on commercial radio and the proposed plans. As you may (or not) know – in December 2010, after much consultation by Ofcom – the rules were relaxed and the term “Brand Integration” has been coined by the radio industry at large.

As always – the team at RAB and Radiocentre are ensuring advertisers and agencies are in the loop and aware of what this means for clients who wish to get closer to commercial radio programming – than ever before. They state “The liberation of the code will allow radio to develop its commercial offering, by granting advertisers a greater level of integration into station content, through the development  of  new and creative mechanics.  For example, radio will now be able to feature brand spokespeople in bespoke or existing programming, from  Sainsbury’s and Jamie Oliver to Compare the Market’s Alexander Orlov.   The changes have been labelled Brand  Integration, and encompass Sponsorship,  Promotions and Advertiser Funded Programming activity across all platforms.”

Today, I wrote up my works blog about what this means for advertisers on local radio; giving some practical examples. I thought this would be good content to share.

You can view more about brand integration, sponsorship, promotions and all the other varied forms of non-spot communication available on the First Radio Portfolio by checking out or our Radio Ideas blog  – which is regularly updated with current sponsorship and promotional opportunities available across our national network of local radio stations.

Here’s the article in full:

Brand Integration – What It Means For Your Brands

On 20th 2010 December, Ofcom announced a deregulation in Sections 9 and 10 of its Broadcast Code which relate to Sponsorship and Commercial References.

Here at First Radio we see this is a great opportunity for our agencies and clients to really immerse their brand within local broadcasting. Now brands can use local radio programming to fully integrate commercial messaging and raise brand awareness more than ever before.

Radio has always been a strong “call-to-action” medium and Brand Integration on radio can work further for your brand than via television and other media. This is due to radios ability to be a ‘friend’ and its close personal attachment with the listener. When a radio station presenter talks about “our friends at Company X”, the listener is hearing about a friend of a friend – this has a strong effect on bringing a brand closer.

After a long and complex consultation period involving two separate consultations, commercial radio is now able to do a lot more. Previously, the only commercial references allowed on radio were sponsorship credits around programmes, and advertisements broadcast in commercial breaks.

Your local radio station campaigns will now see your clients being embedded within the radio station’s brand, into content that shares common brand values, personality or message – delivering the highest levels of engagement.

To help secure consumer protection, the new rules require that any programming subject to a commercial arrangement between a broadcaster and an advertiser is ‘appropriately signalled’.

Here are some examples – to help bring it to life for you:

Supermarket Client: A daily cookery feature – voiced by a chef associated with the brand, using supermarket-own products (eg. Jamie Oliver – Sainsbury’s).

Cereal/Breakfast Client: The Breakfast Show presenter talking up his choice of cereal for his morning Breakfast – describing the taste, flavour and health value – then suggesting the listeners follow his lead!

Financial Client: A pre-produced daily feature broadcast at peak times for business commuters, made up of financial advice for business customers and the latest business news from a bank Business Manager.

Travel Client: Seasonal holiday reports featuring weather reports from across Europe, focusing on holiday destinations covered by the airline who have sponsored the content. This report will also make reference to the ‘great rates’ and offers available from the airline’s website/phone hotline.

These are a few initial examples to show how powerful brand integration can be, and how it can make radio work for your next brief. We feel this is a really exciting opportunity for both the advertising world and local commercial radio – never before has a brand been able integrate into local audiences in such a strong way.

One Comment

  1. Great news for your team in London … I’ve had amazing results with branded content in Radio … I’ve seen it work – for categories like, restaurants, heating and ac, and mattresses … The chance for your clients to achieve results when you include them into branded content is so more likely!

    Good stuff Jonathan!


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