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Fred Jacobs is President of Jacobs Media, a media research and consulting firm. Jacobs Media clients have included CBS Radio, Premiere Radio Networks, Citadel, Greater Media, MTV Networks, Playboy, Amazon, Electronic Arts, NPR, Sylvan Learning Centers, and Taubman Malls. Learn more about the company here.


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August 2011

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Perhaps the real challenge is to simply improve our terrestrial stations. But that's been said before, what a boring suggestion, ho-hum...and it's not as sexy as creating and bringing to market a NEW technology, simply because we can.

The consumer will be the ultimate judge, jury and executioner of HD Radio.

My personal belief is that they don't really want it any more than I want 21 shopping channel choices on my 125-channel cable TV box. Research proves consumers only watch 15-20 TV channels with any regularity. And those same consumers likely only select 10-15 radio stations MAXIMUM to tune into each week. How much time are they spending with mine?

I believe that consumers are becoming paralyzed by (and numb to) the variety of choices available to them. Not just old people. Everyone. Fragmentation, the Long Tail, the Change Function, whatever you want to call it...

The majority of consumers simply don't give a damn about what we think is so important. They just know what they like and like what they know. Same as it has always been.

My theory is based on toothpaste. If you are not Crest, you better be Colgate. And if you really want to live on the edge, maybe you choose to be Aquafresh. Nobody want to be Gleem. Unless being Gleem is enough for you.

I have nothing against new technology, or more choices for those who want it. But if we really think THE MAJORITY of people want a better product, then let's simply GIVE them better content. Is it fair to say there is a lot of bland programming out there? Then it can also be said there is a lot of GREAT programming out there too.

My belief is that the real payoff is on our websites where we can offer new, exciting and different programming elements that will build our brands strength and keep us relevant to the ways consumers are using media these days.


"My belief is that the real payoff is on our websites where we can offer new, exciting and different programming elements that will build our brands strength and keep us relevant to the ways consumers are using media these days."

With the new Internet Royalty Rates, who do you think is going to pay for streaming music?

David Martin

Fred and all,

I have reason to believe that Austin based GSD&M is the agency that created the new Alliance creative. Why Peter has not made the announcement that this highly respected agency was engaged (they do rock), nor shared any research (prudent and wise to have been commissioned in this critical initiative) remains a mystery. Happy New Year. All the best,


Another lame attempt by commercial radio to alienate listeners with more noise and bad content. Thank God, we still have public radio to turn to.

Jim Murphy

I have a possible answer to the post above, wondering why Peter Ferrera may not have announced GSD&M as the agency behind this campaign.

Reading Peter's comment from 12/20 that "these spots aren't aimed at you and me" rang a bell. So I went back and checked some meeting notes from a few years back. Sure enough, that was the exact same line used by GSD&M (the agency for AT&T, PGA, SWA, et al) in a meeting with the Country Music Association when they presented the new creative for an industry-wide campaign to attract more listeners to the format.

Their killer concept? "Country. Admit it. You love it".

Some in the meeting expressed concerns, but were told "these spots aren't aimed at you". (Apparently Country fans were supposed to ignore them.)

When details of the "Admit It" campaign began to leak out (both the concept and execution appeared to make fun of people who ALREADY liked Country) Country radio refused to buy in. In short order, the whole campaign was quietly shelved by CMA before it was ever officially launched.

I hope Peter will forgive those of us who don't "trust in the experience and the track record of an ad agency that's been here before". I don't see CMA listed on GSD&M's website as a satisfied client.

In my opinion, Radio should treat this GSD&M creative the way CMA treated theirs, despite all the time and money invested. When a spot offends the very people who brought you to the dance, it's time to Just Say No.

K.M. Richards

And what happens when a station owner who isn't part of the Alliance decides to program a format that is on an Alliance HD-2 or HD-3 in his market, but brings in live talent (especially if they use talent that is known to the local listeners) to combat the automated format on HD?

My bet would be that the audience will stay with the analog station.

Tony Brueski

Raido companies need to first offer relivant programming to make the consumer see the value of actualy buying an HD radio, if they wait too long to show this value the window of opportunity will pass on to the next wave of technology.


business card scanner

I'm glad you care so much about HD radio. I think that in the end of the day, the thing that matters the most is public awareness and clever advertisement.

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