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Together with my friend and creative colleague Antony Hooper, it was our huge pleasure to be in Dublin on Tuesday giving a talk about good creative and production practices for radio. Hosted by the Irish IPA (IAPI) and sponsored by the radio group Media Central, we set out to inspire a room full of agency creative and accounts people, together with some frequent radio user clients, in the virtues of investing time, thought and great pre and post production values to encourage better radio commercial output.

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Much like the UK, Ireland suffers from bland commercial breaks that have the same old formulaic ads that are usually trotted out by the stations themselves and adopt the direct marketing style of advertising. Although we were happy to acknowledge there is a requirement for direct marketing messages, we canvassed the proposition that brand style advertising helped to build a relationship between the brand and the consumer and definitely provided a more interesting and engaging platform. As part of the proposition, we wanted to encourage a broader approach to the use of time instead the usual default setting of thirty seconds. In fact it’s amazing to reflect on the fact that, in many ways, we have gone backwards in our use of radio commercial time lengths and our general approach to booking airtime.

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Ireland has a great radio listening population boasting some very impressive figures, but there’s a real acknowledgement that creative standards are well below where they should be, which is not good for the listener or, indeed, the radio stations themselves. Antony and I were delighted that we were able to inspire our audience to give broader thought to the radio creative process and work with their clients from an early stage to reach a better outcome. We will look forward to hearing the results in the future.

 9         From right: Nick Angell (Angell Sound), Charley Stoney (IAPI), Anthony Hooper (AAH//LTD) and Gavin Deans (Media Central).