Commercial Radio Australia is starting a series of free digital radio creative workshops in Sydney and Melbourne next month, aiming to demonstrate to clients and advertising agencies the benefits of the digital radio platform.

Developed by Commercial Radio Australia and implemented by creative director of Eardrum Australia, Ralph van Dijk, architect of the recent “Radio Advertising Economically Sound” radio brand campaign, the workshops are part of a continuing series developed by Commercial Radio Australia to help improve the education and training for those involved in radio and ultimately deliver better radio ads.

Chief executive officer, Commercial Radio Australia, Joan Warner said, the free digital workshops supported by the Media Federation of Australia (MFA) would outline the relevance of digital radio in meeting branding and advertising needs and demonstrate how to put effective and innovative digital radio advertising together.

“DAB+ digital radio represents a breakthrough multi-media experience which will facilitate additional advertising information on demand. We want advertisers, sales managers, creative directors and media agencies to understand how the new technology can take radio advertisements to a new level using images and text,” said Ms Warner.

The spectrum efficiency of the digital technology DAB+ Australia is adopting, means broadcasters can add additional radio channels or provide on a small screen, scrolling news, sport and weather text or transmit photographs of a radio host, band or advertiser’s logo.

Draft innovative technical and advertising production specifications released last year by Commercial Radio Australia, for the synchronisation of the “visual” and audio components of digital radio, will be used during the workshops to illustrate how easy and reliable the digital radio production process can be.

“Australia is recognised as a producing great radio ads worldwide, now we want to be pioneers in the creation of innovative DAB+ digital radio advertisements and hope these digital radio workshops will inspire new ideas from advertisers and agencies,” said Ralph van Dijk.

Carol Morris Media Federation Australia executive officer said: “The MFA collectively represents 72% of all media billings placed by Media Agencies in Australia and we see these digital radio workshops as a great opportunity for our members to learn more about the opportunities digital radio offers.”

The half day workshops, open to advertising agencies and radio advertising clients, will initially be held in Sydney on 12 March and 19 May and in Melbourne on the 19 March with other states to follow.

Commercial Radio Australia is accepting expressions of interest now and further information can be found on their website

Free-to-air digital radio services will be switched on in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth in May 2009.