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The Fundamentals of Good Radio Still Reverb True



Cannes Lions Radio jury president and ECD at Whybin\TBWA Melbourne, Paul Reardon, reckons ideas will continue to triumph tech innovations, every time

The Fundamentals of Good Radio Still Reverb True

As the executive creative director at Whybin\TBWA Melbourne, Paul Reardon oversees creative work on accounts and has worked with brands such as ANZ Bank, Nissan, RACV, Infiniti, Medibank (Australia’s largest private health insurer), The Age Newspaper and McCain Foods.

Following Reardon’s arrival at Whybin\TBWA Melbourne, the agency has seen a surge in new business wins, local creative rankings and creative awards, picking up awards at Spikes Asia, London International Awards, AdFest, New York Festivals, One Show and Cannes Lions. 

Last year, under Reardon’s guidance, the agency took home seven Cannes Lions across the categories of Media, Direct, Promo and PR, as well as the 2014 Grand Prix award for Outdoor Lions with ANZ Bank’s ‘GAYTMs’ campaign. This is the second Cannes Lions Grand Prix with his name on it, having been awarded the Grand Prix for Radio a few years earlier with a campaign he created for Snickers.   

Here, he catches up with LBB to discuss the challenges of emerging technology on the radio medium and why he hopes his fellow jury panellist will come bearing a song opinion or two. 

LBB> How are you preparing yourself for your stint in the jury room at Cannes?

Paul Reardon> A lot of reading, a lot of listening, and a little bit of talking. In terms of reading, I’ve been pouring over recent articles about the state of radio in 2015. It’s a pretty exciting time to be leading the Cannes Radio Jury. 

The medium is undergoing some of the biggest changes it’s faced in decades, largely in the form of streaming audio companies.

New developments from the likes of Spotify and Pandora seem to be making headlines almost weekly. I think this puts a lot of emphasis on Radio advertising this year — Apple’s new music streaming announcement last week was good timing for us. But of course, while this may be news in terms of a platform and tech, it doesn’t change the fundamentals of a wonderful ad — great strategy, brilliant and original idea, flawless execution. If you don’t get those right, if doesn’t matter how your spot is delivered.

In terms of listening, over the past few weeks, the Cannes Radio Archives and I have become good buddies. I think it’s good to refresh with some of the hits from recent years. I’m also a pretty avid podcast listener, which helps as well. I’m interested to see how things are changing in that space given the global resurgence we’re seeing in podcasts.

And the talking? I’ve been chatting with a few people from both traditional radio networks and the newer streaming companies to hear their side of things.

LBB> What words of advice will you be giving to your jury?

PR> “Pack an opinion”. I’m truly interested in what each individual believes constitutes the world’s best radio. They’ve all been selected with good reason. And perhaps this is selfish, but that’s where I personally stand to learn the most — from listening to the other jury members.

LBB> The transcendent ‘big’ ideas are relatively easy enough to spot, but some work is smart in a more nuanced way, for example work that plays on the subtleties of a particular culture (the challenges of writing copy in Chinese might be different to writing in English or French, for example).

PR> Our jury has representatives from 16 different countries to overcome that very issue. Cultural context is on tap in the jury room.

LBB> Obviously you’re going to spend a lot of Cannes 2015 locked inside for jury deliberations… but is there any event or talk your hoping to catch while you’re there?

PR> Sarah Koenig and Dana Chivvis from Serial, the most downloaded podcast in history. I can’t wait to hear those two. I’ll be in the jury room while Julia Louis-Dreyfus is speaking, which is a shame.

LBB> What do you think the big talking point (aside from the awards!) is likely to be at Cannes this year?

PR> Well for Radio, as I mentioned, I think it will be the world’s changing audio landscape. That may be the ‘big talking point’, but in terms of this year’s best creativity in radio, I’m not sure it will be a ‘big turning point’. The nature of advertising mediums, shift and change all the time; the fundamentals of a brilliant idea don't.

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LBB Editorial, Wed, 24 Jun 2015 10:38:34 GMT