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


Prev Advertiser Agency/Media buyer %


1 (1) Carphone Radioville/Matters Media 51


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


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


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).


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer