straining your ears?

Move over, Webster’s.

Portland, Ore., radio station KXJM 95.5’s new morning show, The Playhouse, has called on local agency Big Ads to legitimize their on-air antics by publicly redefining a number of words many people in radio don’t like to hear.

For example, one of the new ads appearing around the city maintains that “restraint” means “to strain something again.”

Big Ads creative director Joel Thomas described the programming as “shock radio-like, but not Howard Stern,” and said the goal of the campaign is: “Don’t betray the youth; don’t ignore the 35-year-olds.”

Perhaps more importantly, a station that proclaims itself to be “redefining stupidity” wants to attract advertisers looking for a slightly older audience. Consequently, the semi-intellectual ads, which also put new spins on the words “decency” and “discreet,” are targeted at an 18-35-year-old demographic, bypassing the teen audience that forms the base for the urban/hip-hop station.

Whatever the outcome, the campaign is sure to give fresh ammunition to those who say radio shock jocks don’t know the meaning of “restraint.”