No radio malaise in Malaysia


The first of the electronic media was radio, but its use as a formatic vehicle for advertising in the Asian land of Malaysia hasn’t yet reached its 20th anniversary. But companies with goods and services to sell like what the medium can do.

According to an article in Starbiz, put out by Star Publications, radio is favored for its ability to go after desirable, hard-working consumers who are too preoccupied to pay attention to visual or print media, usually due to being on the job.

Azrullah Mohd Nor, head of Star RFM and a member of the nation’s Commercial Radio Malaysia, told Starbiz, “Radio is a very useful medium to reach those who may be busy as they can still listen to the radio when they are attending to their office work or other tasks and this is the advantage of using radio as an advertising tool.”

Nor said that the current format of radio in Malaysia dates back to 1996-1997, and since that time, stations have geared their programming to appeal to select slices of the population.

Advertisers are advised to know their customers and select the stations on which to deliver their messages accordingly. Radio there can deliver the aforementioned highly-sought-after hard-working class, or it can deliver the youth of the nation, or it can deliver other specific groups.

The affordability of the medium makes it a particularly attractive vehicle for small businesses, and a typical flight involves a week-long schedule with between 30-40 30-second spots.

Nielsen provides radio stats in Malaysia – it finds 90% tuning in weekly. Unlike in the US, a great deal of listening is done at home, with the average amount of time spent listening reported as 20:26 (hours:minutes); work time listening comes in at 19:25; in-car at 8:03 and 5:06 for other locations.

RBR-TVBR observation: Affordable? Ability to target with precision? Reaches people in the workplace? Radio? Why didn’t we think of that here in the US? Oh yeah, we’ve been on to this for decades – the trick is to make sure advertisers remember that it still works.