The Australian radio industry today announced that the first advertisements in the digital radio multi-million dollar awareness campaign will go to air on the 13 April 2009 across all commercial radio stations and in 65 languages on SBS radio in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Developed by the independent creative agency SMART in conjunction with Commercial Radio Australia and with the support of all the commercial stations, plus the ABC and SBS, the estimated $10 million on-air awareness campaign for digital radio will illustrate that no matter what type of radio broadcast you listen to – music, talk, sport, news, lifestyle… digital radio will enhance the experience.

Chief executive officer of Commercial Radio Australia, Joan Warner said the radio ads complimented by online executions are the first step in raising listener awareness of digital radio before the progressive switch on of digital services begins in May.

“This campaign is our first direct communication with listeners. The message is simple - that digital radio is a new exciting way for our loyal radio audience to listen to their favourite stations in digital sound and to discover some great new digital programming,” said Ms Warner.

The initial phase of the campaign involves a series of tease ads with the message ‘radio is going digital’ and an extensive online banner ad campaign across all radio websites and many partner retailer websites. The online executions will use the industry Digital Radio Plus logo launched by Commercial Radio Australia last year, with a link back to the digital radio website

Phase two moves into ads that specifically outline the benefits and capabilities of digital radio and include widespread retail in store promotion and point of sale material. This will be followed by the promotion of a five state capital simultaneous national digital radio listener event in August.

All the digital radio ads feature a sonic mnemonic in the form of a subtle ‘plus’ vocal and direct listeners to the digital radio website Retail stores may use this sonic tag to top and tail television and radio advertisements, SBS plan to incorporate it into live reads of the ads, all assisting to build consumer awareness and helping the “plus” sonic to become synonymous with digital radio.

The website is the digital radio information gateway where listeners, retailers, digital radio manufacturers and all key stakeholders can easily access information about digital radio.

The digital radio plus website allows listeners to put in their postcode to find out where digital radio broadcasts will be available and which retailers will be stocking the new digital radios. It showcases the digital radios that are on the market and lists all the radio stations going digital.

In addition the website provides retailers with access to digital radio tutorials and downloadable DVDs to ensure staff are fully briefed on the arrival of digital radio.

Consumers can also SMS their postcode to the mobile phone number 0409DRPLUS (0409 377 587) to immediately find out if they can receive digital radio in their area.

“Commercial Radio Australia has worked very closely with the radio industry, manufacturers and retailers to develop a logo, collateral and ad campaign that works well for all our stakeholders. We hope listeners will respond and put a digital radio on top of their must buy list for 2009,” said Ms Warner.