Parikhal on Radio-Info and the Return on Inveatment of the Mercurys

As reported in this morning’s Radio-Info.com, Joint Communications’ John Parikhal had come choice words about how Mercury radio advertising award competition need a big re-think. Says Parikhal:”Return On Investment really shouldn’t be a measure for the Mercurys. A radio ad can be engaging and persuasive, but the product packaging might turn customers off at the store. Or the price might be too high, etc. In other words, the ad worked, but the rest of the chain didn’t.

For serious marketers like Procter & Gamble or Coke, ROI is a complex equation in which the ad medium and the dollars spent are only a part of the formula. But if by ROI, you mean – can I tie the ad to a sale? – then take a page from the best awards ever – the Effies. They measured ‘effectiveness’, asking participants to submit their ‘before and after’ case studies with the ad.

The Mercurys should be about ‘effective’ radio ads – not ‘creativity.’ And, an effective ad starts with ‘engagement.’ Often, judges confuse engagement with entertainment when they are asked to decide what is most ‘creative.’ They choose ‘entertaining’ ads and call them ‘creative.’ Some very engaging ads are not entertaining. But they work. Just check out spoken word ads on News and Talk stations. Bring back the Effies.”

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