Why Radio and How Does It Work?

Do you have to turn the car radio down when you're lost? How do you know there's a burglar in the house when you're asleep? What about when the teacher would call on you because she suspected that you weren't paying attention, and she was right. But somehow you still knew what the question was. Your ears never stop working. That's why radio is so powerful. Even when we're not paying attention-our ears and brains are working together. The average person knows the words to 1200 songs-about 98% of which they never intended to learn.

Have you ever caught yourself staring at the same page for minutes on end, having no idea what the printed words say? That's because you have to translate the written word into the spoken word to understand it. As you mentally create the sounds of the words in your head, your brain comprehends what is written.

You've seen a dollar bill thousands of times. Can you repeat all the words on that dollar without looking? What about the words to "Eres Tu"? You don't even know what the words mean-but you can sing them. Chris Farley and David Spade did in "Tommy Boy," and we'll bet you could relate. You don't have to try to learn things when you hear them-you just do. Frequency and repetition - they work.

The Emotional Power Of Radio

RAEL study

Respondents in the study felt that radio ads were more directed toward them personally and that the businesses that were a good fit for them. They also felt that businesses that ran on the radio cared more about them personally than businesses that ran TV or newspaper.

We hear people say that Mix 107.3 or 101.7 The Bull is "my station". They feel ownership of what the station does. They're a part of it. We're their friends.

A lot of people have time to listen to radio in the car when they're alone-what can you say that will make them know about your business and like you best?

Radio reaches almost everyone, every day. Need proof? Check this out

[image] Brain Map

So, how does it work? See that large blue area (auditory association/memory of sound)-that's where your brain stores sound. It's right by the auditory cortex (that small maroon blob). Look how big Auditory Association is compared to Visual Association (red, toward the back). Now, where we're trying to go is the Prefrontal Cortex-that's where action happens. Sight has to go from your eyes (front, obviously) to the back of your head to where it's processed in the brown, then to the storage area. And it's a long way from the Prefrontal Cortex-up where things happen.

Another interesting thing on the brain map is Broca's area-that's where the little gate keeper of your brain says, "no...ignore that-it's boring and predictable!" You want to surprise Broca, get him interested.

You've been introduced to right brain vs left brain, right? Here's a quick recap. Left hemisphere is analytical, logical. Right brain is emotional, artistic. So, if the left brain has a security guard around it that demands that your offer make the most sense, shouldn't we knock on the door of the right side? We can sneak into the right side with an idea that the left side rejects as nonsense (like imagination).

Here's an example of how powerful the right brain is: logically, it makes more sense to be healthy, eat right and hit the gym after work. But emotionally, a candy bar is good along with a nap.

People make decisions with emotion and reinforce them with logic. The Neurologist Donald CaIne said that reasonable logic leads to conclusions while emotions create actions. It's important to appeal to emotion with your radio advertising in particular. Print is better for the price war-and radio is better to convince the non-price based shopper to buy from you using emotion.

Frequency, Repetition and Anchoring

  • Frequency - how many times the same person hears your commercial within 7 days.
  • Repetition - saying the same thing over and over until it sinks in. You might be tired of your ad. We might be tired of your ad. But listeners are just starting to get it after 6 weeks or so.
  • Anchoring - this is the hardest part. This is implanting an associative memory-so your message has to be associated with a memory already your prospect's mind.

Kinds of Memory

  • Procedural - this is muscle memory. You remember exactly how your hands should grip a golf club or swing a baseball bat, even if you haven't played for years. You remember the fingerings for a song on the violin you haven't played for decades.
  • Electrical - This is like the RAM in your computer-if you turn off your computer without saving, it's gone forever. It's the thought you're thinking right now-and it's not attached to anything, anchored anywhere.
  • Chemical - This is long-term, permanent memory. This is where we want your ad to end up, so that when people pull out their mental file folder for your business category, your name is on top. You do this with frequency, repetition and anchoring.