RADIOWATCH: The monthly analysis of radio recall in association with RAB

Although the phrase 'sonic brand trigger' is now synonymous with radio advertising, dedicated radio agency Radioville is sceptical. Operations director Stephen Donovan says the sonic brand trigger can even be a "placebo for clients and agencies and audio valium for radio audiences".

It is a surprising admission from the agency behind Carphone Warehouse's legendary 'Get Connected' campaign. Yet Radioville insists that since replacing 'Get Connected' with the campaign featuring Irish comic Ed Byrne, awareness of its radio advertising has increased.

In Radiowatch, however, although Carphone has been a comfortable number one for the past eight months, its recall percentages are lower than two years ago - as, indeed, they are for rivals such as Vodafone, whose UK campaigns are now created by J Walter Thompson.

The commercial in this month's Radiowatch, featuring an offer of £50 off any handset, was JWT's Vodafone debut. Using the same voiceover and the same 'How are you?' line as the ongoing TV campaign, the ad targeted people upgrading their phone and featured a girl describing her old phone in terms of a relationship she is finishing.

Guy Phillipson, head of advertising for Vodafone UK, says: "Radio lets us have a bit of fun so that people don't zone out of the advertising. But we make sure the humour stays within our long-term strategy, reflecting the traits we are known for in all our advertising."

T-Mobile, formerly One 2 One, is emerging as a consistent Radiowatch challenger to Carphone and Vodafone. Its advertising is now consolidated with Saatchi, which created the distinctive TV commercials promoting the fact that T-Mobile allows users to call other networks without an extra charge.

The radio continued that campaign with two ads; one featured different dialects to represent different networks, and the other - aimed at a younger market - showed a man failing to call his girlfriend who was on a different network.

But, intrusive as it is, the campaign has not yet endangered Carphone's Radiowatch domination. Carphone now uses Clemmow Hornby Inge for TV and Radioville for radio, with both campaigns using the Mowbli character to encompass theme and tactical work.

Mowbli appears in the TV work, but does not have a name or a voice (although Ed Byrne narrates the commercials). In the radio advertising campaign, Byrne is the voice of Mowbli. It is Carphone's response to the evolving market where virtually everybody has already got connected.

Stephen Donovan explains: "The television and radio work together to deliver the benefit that people expect from a sonic brand trigger. The industry needs to understand that an unconnected, bolted-on series of notes at the end of commercials is not a quick solution to every brief. The whole campaign needs to reflect the brand."

Q: Which of the following radio commercials do you remember hearing

recently?

Prev Advertiser Agency/Media buyer %

entry

1 (1) Carphone Radioville/Matters Media 51

Warehouse

2 (3) Vodafone J Walter Thompson/OMD UK 46

3 (-) T-Mobile Saatchi & Saatchi/Starcom Motive 42

4 (5) BT Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/Zenith Media 34

5 (8) O2 Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest/ 33

Zenith Media

6 (-) B&Q Bates UK/Zenith Media 32

7 (9) British Gas BMP DDB/Carat 31

8= (-) Asda Publicis/Carat 29

8= (11) Matalan M&C Saatchi/Feather Brooksbank 29

8= (10) McDonald's Leo Burnett/Starcom Motive 29

11 (7) Sainsbury's Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/PHD 28

12 (-) Ford Ogilvy & Mather/MindShare 27

13 (15) Coldseal Huet & Co/Mediaedge:CIA Manchester 24

14 (-) Allied Carpets John Mountford Studios/Brand Connection 21

15 (-) Telewest Saatchi & Saatchi/Media Insight 17

16= (-) AXA Equity TBWA London/OMD UK 16

Sun Life

16= (-) COI - Modern D'Arcy/OMD UK 16

apprentice

18= (-) Nationwide Leagas Delaney/Mediaedge:CIA 15

18= (25) The Times Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe Y&R/Carat 15

20= (-) Rover M&C Saatchi/Walker Media 14

20= (-) Jaguar Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe 14

Y&R/MindShare

Radiowatch research was conducted from November 1 to November 3 by NOP

Research Group (020 7890 9000) as part of a weekly telephone omnibus

survey among 472 commercial radio listeners. Advertisements were

selected by Xtreme Information (020 7871 8080) and RAB (020 7306 2500).

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