*The following is an excerpt from the book Brands Win Championships*
Radio is unlikely to make or break a campaign; however, what radio can be is another point of frequency. Remember that the keys to making an idea stick are consistency and frequency. Radio can give you another hammer on the nail that is your brand story. The more times you hit the nail, the further it goes in—and the harder it is to get out.
Some of you might be reading this and saying to yourself, “Radio is dead.” And at some level, when speaking of traditional radio, part of me agrees with you. But only part. I wouldn’t write radio off entirely. Radio is not like it used to be. No longer are you limited to the AM/FM stations we grew up listening to. Today we have digital stations like Pandora, Spotify, and iTunes Radio, where kids and adults both are flocking to stream their favorite music. In 2013 Pew Research Center released stats indicating that up to 38 percent of Americans listen to audio on digital devices, with that number expected to double in two years. Radio isn’t dead. It’s evolving.
The benefit of buying media in these digital radio spaces is that you not only get the traditional audio ad, but now you also get digital banner space along with it. But what if you didn’t stop there? What if you leveraged what inherently makes audio so prevalent even today? What if you made your own music? Digital radio stations provide a fantastic launching pad for new music, which any school can take advantage of.
In January 2013, Notre Dame’s football team was on its way to playing Alabama in the national championship. With that came a tremendous opportunity for both Notre Dame and adidas to bring attention and build hype around the storied program. The challenge was in finding something that would resonate with high school athletes, every football program’s target market. We turned to music. Music plays a major role in football culture. From the gym to the locker room to the music played when the team takes the field, music is in the DNA of all sports. And Notre Dame has one of the most recognizable fight songs in all of college sports, which gave us a terrific canvas to work with. We used it to generate excitement around the program prior to the game, partnering with a prominent DJ to remix the fight song and seed it out through music and culture media outlets like Complex. The result was national PR coverage that helped lead to over one million streams of the song prior to the game.
Music transcends all age groups, all demographics, all sports. It’s a medium that is underutilized by schools today, but is one that can be very effective.