Now in its tenth year, Ultimate Media has conceptualised and managed at least 500 different radio campaigns across multiple stations (commercial, African Language and community) and in multiple languages. They have worked with hundreds of top brands and with nearly all of the major media agencies.
When Ultimate Media was established ten years ago, the radio industry was quite a different place than it is today. Most radio stations had just come off a record revenue year inspired by the 2010 FIFA World Cup. As a result, staff complements at stations were healthy and skill levels were high, as were the expensive overheads that come with running a radio station.
The media agency world was also a different place back then. Revenue wasn’t being squeezed as tightly as it is today and clients, in general, were less demanding on campaign measurement and accountability (procurement was not yet running the show).
When it came to creating radio campaigns, brands had not yet discovered the power of content marketing and storytelling, of building campaigns around the brand’s message. As a result, brands were still happy just to attach their names to campaigns that primarily drove station objectives.
For all of these reasons, most people in the industry could not see what gap Ultimate Media was trying to fill. Why use a third party when the agency and radio station can come up with a solution without incurring any additional fees? Ultimate Media filled the gap to simplify radio advertising and to take the schlep out of doing radio. They became a one-stop-shop where clients could access all the creative, commercial and implementation skills they would expect to get at a radio station.
‘Advertisers are way more demanding of radio than they were 10 years ago. So, you have to innovate,’ said John Walls, Managing Director. ‘All of our campaigns will integrate an ever‐expanding bouquet of digital and social channels in order to amplify the messaging.’
Walls added, ‘This is going to be the decade of the audio strategy for brands. There is a listening revolution happening, driven through the ease of consuming audio through our digital devices. Listeners are still consuming traditional broadcast radio but now they have also added podcasts and music streaming to their mix. Brands need an audio strategy if they want to insert themselves into their target consumer’s ears, irrespective of what audio they are consuming. They need to do it at the best rate, with the most effective buy. The beauty of combining broadcast and digital audio is that you can make a budget stretch significantly longer – integrating promotional spikes on radio with an always-on presence on digital audio.’