One of the more disappointing aspects of the Presidential campaign is that radio has somehow gotten the short end of the political advertising stick. As the two candidates have amassed unthinkable sums of money to focus on this last leg of the race, most of those dollars will go right into television in swing states.
But there’s an interesting exception. The Obama campaign has released a radio ad that is now on the air in a number of states. And even more surprisingly, they are going after young voters, ostensibly by airing these commercials on youth-targeted radio stations.
So what does this tell us about how radio is perceived by a pretty smart group of marketers? They obviously value the importance of the youth vote. And they see radio as a smart way to deliver that message.
And this tactic has nothing to do with the time-honored political media buy strategy of focusing on adult stations like KGO, WJR, and WABC – AM radio stations that have more audience 65+ than they care to talk about.
While the political fur will fly during these 42 days leading up to the election, making it polarizing to even talk about this election with colleagues and co-workers, this Obama radio campaign makes an important statement about the power and value of radio – youth-targeted radio – in branding and motivating results. By the way, it’s an exceptionally well-produced spot.
The question is whether those in a power position in the radio business who support the other side will get over their own personal politics and use this as a powerful story that that supports broadcast radio’s ability to reach the youth market.
Put your politics aside. This is a vote for radio.