The newcomers include Comet (running its biggest radio campaign of the year), Travel Inn (with the new 'lullaby' commercials), Safeway (with its first work through Clemmow Hornby Inge) and Transport for London, which has been using heavyweight radio to promote the forthcoming Congestion Charges.
Four sizeable FMCG brands - Weetabix, Oil of Olay, Pot Noodle and Baxters Soup - also enter the league for the first time. While each has its own reasons for an increased commitment to the medium, all four brands are certainly hoping that radio will bring some of the benefits that were summarised by the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) in its 1999 publication Using Radio Advertising for FMCG Brands.
The RAB said: "In the FMCG sector, brands need high levels of frequency, and low radio production costs mean multiple copy is available for brand maintenance strategies. Radio listening is at its highest in the daytime when stores are open, so campaigns can get closer to the point of purchase.
Radio has an excellent coverage of FMCG audiences such as housewives and light TV viewers and offers a very high share of voice as the level of competitive noise is far lower than in TV."
Weetabix chose radio to promote its four Mini-Crunch varieties because it was a cost-effective way of extending the core 'generating energy' campaign. By linking four different radio executions to the 'energy' theme, the radio ads also worked hard to stamp the Weetabix brand on each Mini-Crunch flavour.
The Oil of Olay campaign was designed to promote the range of Olay products as the Christmas gift women really want. Created as a call to action, while simultaneously building the brand, the 'leave a little hint' commercials targeted specific Christmas shoppers such as 'Planners' (people who shop in advance) and 'Never Readys' (who leave it until the last minute).
The Pot Noodle radio campaign, continuing HHCL's overall strategy of increasing the brand's saliency among young consumers, built on its controversial but successful 'slag of all snacks' line by using slurpy soundtracks of people 'doing Pot Noodle' accompanied by the line with alternative words replacing the now-banned 'slag' word.
Baxters, meanwhile, has been running its biggest ever radio campaign, with six ads, set in different countries, under the "Once you've tried it, there's no going back" line. Baxters wanted to get closer to the consumer, so the company chose radio as a medium which could deliver intimacy at times when consumers might be planning either a shopping trip or a light snack at home.
THE MONTHLY ANALYSIS OF RADIO RECALL IN ASSOCIATION WITH RAB
Q: Which of the following radio commercials do you remember hearing
Prev Advertiser Agency/Media buyer %
1 (2) Vodafone J Walter Thompson/OMD UK 45
2 - Orange Mother/Media Planning Group 43
3 (11) Sainsbury's Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/PHD 41
4 (4) BT Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/Zenith Media 40
5 (8=) Virgin Trains Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe Y&R/ 35
Manning Gottlieb OMD
6 - Matalan M&C Saatchi/Feather Brooksbank 34
7 - Comet Saatchi & Saatchi/Zenith Media 31
8 (12) Ford Ogilvy & Mather/MindShare 27
9 - Travel Inn HHCL and Partners/OMD UK 24
10 (15) Allied Carpets John Mountford Studios/ 23
11 - Safeway Clemmow Hornby Inge/ 22
Manning Gottlieb OMD
12= (17) COI/DFES Modern D'Arcy/OMD UK 19
12= - Weetabix Banks Hoggins O'Shea FCB/PHD 19
12= - COI/Inland Revenue M&C Saatchi/OMD UK 19
New Tax Credits
15= (13) Coldseal Huet & Co/Mediaedge:CIA Manchester 18
15= - Oil of Olay Saatchi & Saatchi/Starcom Motive 18
15= - Pot Noodle HHCL and Partners/Initiative Media 18
15= - Baxters Soup The Union/Mediacom Scotland 18
19= - Transport for M&C Saatchi and TBWA/PHD 17
19= - Telewest Radioville/Media Insight 17
Radiowatch research was conducted from November 29 to December 1 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).