In the typical political race, radio commercials are designed and implemented by persons who have spent so little time understanding the proper use of radio, that errors are made and money is often misspent. Candidates do not understand how to use radio effectively, because like most people, they do not understand the underlying concept behind radio, indeed all advertising. “Top of the mind awareness” is the goal of all advertisers, no matter the budget. Here is a great example that best explains the concept of “Top of the mind awareness.”
If I am a hardware store selling hammers, it is my goal to sell fifty percent of my hammers at list or retail price. The remaining hammers at discounted or sale prices. How do I accomplish this? “Top of the mind awareness” is the goal. It is proven that a person recalls at most three stores when need for an item occurs. Try it yourself. If you need oatmeal, where will you shop? Name more than three stores instantly? Proper use of radio has placed the store in your mind. The hardware store airs daily commercials about hammers, quality, the sales staff, etc. The important thing is keeping the name at the top of the mind of consumers. On the day Mr. Jones needs a hammer, he will visit the hardware store at the top of his mind and pay full price. The hardware store impresses upon the listener best price marketing with sales.
One week the store will advertise the hammers for a sale price. Those consumers seeking a hammer that week, will purchase, others will know that hammers are available at this store. Top of the mind awareness is maintained. The hammer example is perfect for political candidates, because the voters do not need to vote, unless they are motivated. When you need a hammer, nothing else will work. If you do not need a hammer, it never crosses your mind. Make your candidate “Top of the mind” of the voters and give them a reason to reach for the hammer, or in this case, a reason to vote.