"Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information." T.S. Eliot
"To look is to learn, if you listen carefully." Per Arnoldi
"Knowledge is little; to know the right context is much, to know the right spot is everything." Hugo von Hofmannsthal
Today's image: Wilderness of Glacier & Snow Lake by Heartkins. Amazing! Thank you.
In recent posts I have asked questions about HD Radio. Specifically, the need for an intellectually honest evaluation of progress made, results produced by the HD Radio Alliance.
Previous posts here and here.
My sense is we need hard data before any such evaluation is possible. Earlier posts were a call for disclosure. We have an urgent need for transparency here.
Here is what we do know.
This month marks the second year anniversary of the Alliance formation.
Member stations have invested something north of $400 million in air time to promote HD Radio. Perhaps, the single most significant consumer marketing investment by and for radio in radio history.
It appears that about 500,000 HD Radio receivers have been sold.
The HDRadio.com website seems, according to one measure, to be getting approx 33,000 visitors per month.
Should these receiver sales and site visitor numbers prove to be even close to correct it is fair to suggest we have a serious problem.
Either radio is not an effective media to get the message out, the wrong communications channel to use in selling radios and driving web traffic or the messaging is not right. My conclusion is the messaging is wrong, clearly not effective.
The latest development: the Alliance is changing up the creative strategy. My understanding is Alliance CEO Peter Ferrara ordered and approved new creative.
After hearing the new creative I must respectfully suggest it is best that it never air.
I urge Peter Ferrara to order a delay in the launch of this new creative set to air beginning 12/31. We need to take a time out. We need to begin a candid and serious industry conversation about the consumer marketing needed to produce a meaningful result in the HD Radio roll out.
Listen to the creative yourself here.
Fred Jacobs blogs on this issue here. Bravos to Fred!
We can get this done the right way, we can make this happen, make a genuine difference, however we should give this nothing less than our best shot. This new creative does not represent the best possible use of our audio given the challenges at hand and in this critically important initiative the standard must be, without qualification, unconditionally, only the best that we can do. We can do this. Game on.
LATER: Peter Ferrara responds via Fred's blog...
"Fred (an all) –
We're sorry you didn't enjoy the spots. We are working with an one of the top brand building ad agencies in the country that's done great things for clients like Southwest Airlines, BMW, MasterCard, AT&T and the PGA Tour. We explained our challenge, the current status of HD Radio and asked them for their honest evaluation and recommendation.
It's completely natural for all of us in the radio business to bristle at the thought that not everyone shares our passion and commitment to our medium. The truth is that these spots aren't aimed at you and me - and we need to have the courage to engage the folks we're trying to reach in a way that speaks to the way they see it. And when we connect with them on that, authentic level, we can hope to re-engage them in what's outstanding about radio.
My response to Peter via Fred's blog...
At this point, days away from the debut of the new creative, it is disappointing we have not enjoyed the benefits of a more open, serious and candid discussion on this matter. The promotion of HD Radio deserves to be on the agenda of every radio station in 2008. The attitude that Peter Ferrara seems to suggest in his comment reminds me of the line attributed to Groucho Marks, "...who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes." At a time when radio's digital strategy includes betting its life on HD Radio, the Alliance is telling radio professionals "Who you gonna believe, our agency or your own ears." LATER: Peter permissions the new HD Radio Alliance creative. Updates here and here.