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Is a radio ad just lucky hit advertising?

I had a late one at the office tonight; after all we have a Dragon to keep happy these days!

Now it's not often that I put a music station on my radio in my car, usually it's Talk Sport all the way. From Alan Brazil on the way-in to work in the morning to Stan Collymore and Danny Kelly when I am driving home at night. I need to know what is happening in the world of football, and Talk Sport is the usual destination, but not tonight.

No, when I got into my car tonight I had local radio station Southern FM belting out a tune. Now it must of been my little one who left Southern FM on, it is not my usual choice of radio station, but to be honest I was so knackered when I left, I just couldn't be bothered to change it back to TalkSport, so Southern FM remained in place just this once.

I don't want adverts, I want music!

My drive home at night is short and sweet (Thankfully), but straight after two songs  a set of adverts came on. Oh joy, I was in the mood for music now, not blasted adverts! Adverts are the element of listening to commercial radio stations that drives me mad (and a factor as to why iPods are so damned popular - personal musical choice, simple!).

Personally speaking, I don't really take much notice of the radio advertising, but one tonight did capture my attention, and not for any reason apart from it was the advert of one of our latest SEO clients, WightLink, the specialist Isle of Wight Ferry company.


What got me thinking is how effective the radio advert might be for them? Personally I am not a fan of any form of obtrusive advertising. If I want a product or service, I'll use my old mate Google to find what I am looking for as and when I want it. On this occasion though, the Wightlink advert actually struck a cord and for me it did its job. It put the notion of taking a ferry to The Isle of Wight into my mind.

But without me having Southern FM bestowed upon me, there would of have been no chance of me catching the WightLink advert; and this is where Search Engine Optimisation just comes into its own. I have no doubt I will be doing plenty of days out in the coming glorious summer months (please can we have a nice summer?). On this occasion though it is only by chance that an Isle of Wight seed was planted in my head; and that was from one advert on one local radio station as against constant visibility in Google for a wide spread of KeyPhrases. Whilst the advert did make me listen it will be interesting to see how the SEO campaign for WightLink goes and what increased visibility will do for traffic levels to the site.

I know I have some big plans of what we want to be doing, and it will be great to pitch SEO against other media simply because if we hit it right, we know we can make a huge difference to the business.

But it did leave me thinking that radio advertising could be construed as very hit and miss. For me you have to be in the right place at the right time for it to really work; it just so happens that last night I was.

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