CRA: An ad campaign promoting the need to trade through the economic crisis and advertise on radio, will begin next week, as part of the commercial radio industry’s ongoing multi-million dollar brand campaign.

The three-part campaign, called “Radio Advertising, Economically Sound” features comedian, Mark Mitchell, and uses humour to highlight why radio advertising is economically sound in tough economic times.

Chief executive officer of Commercial Radio Australia, Joan Warner says the industry is aware that ad budgets are often cut when overall budgets are tight, so the ads have been developed to counteract that way of thinking.

“The ads highlight that people are still buying things, eating out and going to the movies - and that radio is a cost-effective advertising medium that can be highly targeted with a strong call to action, and so is a good choice in tough economic times,” Ms Warner said.

“Research also shows some good reasons and strategic advantages to continue to advertise in tough economic times: there is less clutter in traditional markets, and success breeds success, so continuing with brand advertising will make a product stand out.”

The ads, on-air nationally from next Monday (Monday February 9), were written by the award winning radio specialist agency, Eardrum. The first stage includes advertiser endorsements – and allows individual stations to feature regular advertisers. The ads also promote a free guide to Economically Sound Advertising, available to download from the Commercial Radio Australia website.

Eardrum Creative Director, Ralph van Dijk, said that the next stages of the campaign will include consumers and industry commentators talking about the economic climate and its effects.

"Our central idea is to use the other advertisers in the break as an endorsement for radio. We introduce or back announce the adjacent ad and highlight the fact that these advertisers are doing the right thing. We then take Mark (That radio Bloke) out on the street to gauge the economic climate for himself. Naturally the campaign focuses on radio, but it promotes advertising through a downturn, in general".

The ads are the latest for the radio industry in its ongoing multi-million dollar radio brand campaign, which was first launched in June 2003. Previous ads have included the world’s funniest man, John Cleese, as well as spots highlighting the effectiveness of combining radio advertising with television as well as targeting niche markets. The most recent campaign highlighted radio’s ability to work with online with research showing that over 80 per cent of people who hear a radio commercial have visited that website as a result.