AudioNET CEO Dave Cox tells radio advertisers to get with the program and start demanding they get a little bit more eye candy when working with digital radio.

The best kept secret of digital radio is that radio is now a simulcasting medium – and radio networks can now synchronise advertiser logos and taglines with radio commercials.

Many advertisers and agencies assume that visual elements only apply to radio station websites, or mobile phone apps with the usual pop-ups,  banner ads, display ads etc, that are available on any website or mobile phone app and are independent of what’s being broadcast on the air.

In fact, radio stations have been demonstrating for at least two years now, that they can simulcast image and sound over the Internet and mobile phone applications.

98% of capital city radio stations are streaming on the Internet, along with seven of the eight new digital radio stations.

More than half of these are already displaying album art, and more than 80% have mobile phone apps already displaying images synchronised with audio.

None are displaying any advertiser logos or taglines synchronised with the spots.

If you look at a radio station website or mobile phone app – you’ll see plenty of 0f advertising: random banner ads, pop-ups, pull-throughs etc.

Some stations even have a ‘buy now’ link attached to the album art which goes straight to iTunes. Extra value for the artists,  at no extra cost.

Yet the advertisers who pay for their airtime are being given no value-add whatsoever.

Some radio commercials are even being broadcast on media players displaying logos and taglines of different advertisers who’ve paid to sponsor the media player, or mobile phone application.

Radio stations  have not even made media agencies aware that logos could be synchronised with their client’s radio campaigns.

With the second anniversary of digital radio upon us,  radio stations should be clamouring to be the first to add co-ordinated and targeted visual elements to their advertisers’ commercials.

Adding logos and taglines is arguably the first major innovation for radio commercials since radio broadcasts went from mono to stereo.

As with any innovation,  it might not work perfectly the first time. But we believe  clients will give it a go in the spirit of trying something new – we’ll all give it a go and keep tweaking it until it works perfectly.

The beauty of radio of course is its flexibility. Adding logos and taglines to radio commercials gives marketers fantastic flexibility.

Campaigns can have the same audio and logos for every market, but different taglines for local impact.

You don’t have to have any taglines at all – only a logo. You can have no logo, only taglines and audio. You can have different images for different times of the day, with the same audio. Or different audio at different times of the day, with the same image.

You know your brand – you can work the elements to suit your strategy.

We know it can be done – because we can see the album art on web streams and mobile phone apps of dozens of radio stations.

I have been encouraging radio stations to give it a go for 12 months, but they’re convinced that advertisers are not interested.

If you are, ask your radio station, your media agency, your creative agency and anyone connected to radio advertising – “Can I have my logo with my radio spots please?”