Joe Friel, Content and Partnerships Manager at Folder Media, works closely with children’s radio station Fun Kids. Here, he tells ToyNews why radio suits toy companies on a wide variety of budgets

Kids Media Special: Wired for Sound

What can radio as a medium offer the toy companies?

90 per cent of the country listens to, on average, 22 hours a week. It follows families from the bathroom to the kitchen to the car and reaches children, mums and dads and grandparents too. It’s also a shared listen – children hear about new toys, but it also drives awareness with the rest of the family allowing you to deliver those important commercial messages to the key decision makers.

What opportunities do you have for toy companies?

There are a wide range of opportunities available on air, such as spot advertising, multi-platform competitions and show sponsorship.

A popular means of advertising is through enhanced advertorials. These are bespoke features c.60 seconds long that are based around a theme related to your product or brand.

These longer, creative advertorials mean that, whilst still having all the key commercial information, they are interesting pieces of content within their own right. As such, we can make them available to download on our website and through our iTunes channel, as well as give them to clients as creative assets.

Fun Kids has a sizeable online presence, so we are able to offer many options to work in conjunction with on air or on its own, including integrated web content

Through our presenters and team of producers, we also have extensive experience producing and delivering bespoke video content.

Can you give me any examples of toy companies you have worked with in the past and the campaigns worked with them?

For the launch of Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure we produced a series of one minute character fact files, each introducing children to one of the characters you could collect and play in the game.

These helped build familiarity and excitement with the different toys children could collect.

Recently we have been working with Leapfrog to promote the LeapPad Ultra. With so many great features, we created a series of Gadget Show-style features, each looking at a different aspect of the LeapPad Ultra.

Broadcast extensively on air and made available to download online, this allowed us to drive awareness of the individual benefits of the device as well as the brand as a whole.

What can radio offer toy companies than the other media cannot?

Through shared family listening, radio enables advertisers to simultaneously excite children about their toys and deliver the key commercial messaging to parents. Radio is also able to turnaround campaigns much faster than most other media. Live presenters mean new messages can be delivered on air within hours, and producing or altering features and adverts is naturally quicker than for the likes of TV.

This quick turnaround means radio can also be incredibly flexible, able to quickly modify campaigns and add new elements even when the campaign has already launched.

Flexibility also applies to cost. Including radio is proven to improve the efficiency of your overall advertising campaign and it is easy to add radio into your plans because of the competitive costs we can offer. Using Fun Kids as an example, in the past year we have delivered on air campaigns from £500 to £30,000.

To advertise toys, TV and online has the benefit of visually showing them off. How do you get around that with radio?

Naturally this depends on the toy and what you want to achieve. For many of our clients at Fun Kids, the main focus is to build excitement around the product and to do this it is less about seeing what colour it is and more about conveying the fun children will have playing with this toy.

This isn’t perhaps the best analogy for children’s toys, but in scary movies, the monster you imagine in your head when you hear it creeping around is always much more terrifying than the actual monster you then see on the screen. In this way, audio – if delivered creatively – can be a much more effective way to spark a child’s imagination and build an exciting world around your toys.

Whether it’s Trigger Happy from Skylanders or a new range of dolls, we can actually bring these characters to life on radio directly engaging with children. And by removing the visual element, radio can deliver this original, creative content in a much more cost- effective way.

However, it’s a mistake to assume radio cannot deliver video. Radio stations like Fun Kids are truly multi-platform, delivering content through whichever platform our audience choose to interact with us.

In a nutshell, why should toy companies work with radio?

Flexibility and cost. There’s far less clutter from competing brands than you might see on television. Radio will help your product really cut through.

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