In order to boost consumer awareness and sales of HD Radio receivers, the HD Digital Radio Alliance will launch a mobile marketing campaign with partner 3Cinteractive. The mobile initiative is the first part of the Alliance's new $57 million ad campaign in which radio ads will be broadcast in 100 markets over 13 weeks.
Although more than 1700 radio stations broadcast in HD, sales of receivers, estimated in the tens of thousands, have yet to catch on with consumers.
Sixty-five percent of the ads will tell consumers to text message the word "UPGRADE" to 34343 for information on HD Radio receivers, retailers and vehicles that provide HD Radio broadcasts. Listeners will also have a chance to win one of 200 HD Radio receivers.
"This campaign is the first to issue a call to action that will create a direct conversation with consumers," said HD Digital Radio Alliance president and CEO Peter Ferrara. "By establishing a direct, instant relationship with consumers who show an interest in HD Radio, we begin to activate a whole new category of catalysts."
Other ads in the campaign will direct listeners to visit HDRadio.com, the Alliance's recently updated Web site. According to Jamie Allen, COO of Texas Creative, the company that built and maintains the site, HDRadio.com has counted over 2 million pages views since Jan. 1, and the percentage of new site visitors has topped 80 percent. Some of the site's new features include easy-to-read buyers' guides and HD and HD2 station guides for retail associates, auto dealers and consumers.
"As we convert consumer awareness into action, it was especially important to increase the breadth and depth of our marketing," said HD Digital Radio Alliance executive vice president Diane Warren. "Giving point-of-sale professionals at retailers and auto dealerships instant access to programming and device information needed to close a sale was our top priority."
Although nationwide surveys results released this year by American Media Services and Arbitron and Edison Media Research revealed that HD Radio awareness remains low among American consumers, the Alliance presented new Critical Mass Media data saying that awareness of HD Radio broadcasts among radio listeners topped 75 percent in 2007. Data collected by J.D. Powers showed that, among current or likely auto buyers, HD Radio awareness is at 31 percent.