Radio Disney is celebrating its 15th year with an ad campaign focused on fans who grew up with it – and their kids.
The approach tweaks traditional radio campaigns, which usually promote artists or on-air personalities and tend to be timed to spring and fall ratings sweeps. Radio Disney's campaign follows a year-round model and focuses on its audience and how music affects their lives.
More than half of Radio Disney's listeners are adults, primarily moms, so the company is running ads in Parenting School Years, Redbook, People Magazine and Good Housekeeping in hopes of instilling the message that everyday activities go down better with Disney.
The ads feature potentially mundane activities, like doing chores, with and without Radio Disney playing. The hope is that kids and parents alike will leave Radio Disney on throughout the day.
"We always acknowleged that parents were listening with their kids, but really bringing that to the forefront — that we are building meaningful connections between mother and child and families — is something that we have not previously celebrated," said Radio Disney vice president of marketing Phil Guerini.
The new campaign's soft launch begins Tuesday with ads in the new Radio Disney Jams 15th B-day Edition CD.
Radio Disney, which consists of 32 owned and operated stations across the country, plus several affiliates, averaged 24.5 million weekly listeners ages 6 and up in spring 2010 and 2011.
Many of them are parents who grew up with Radio Disney when it emphasized songs from Disney films.
Playlists have since evolved to include more contemporary music, including by artists like Coco Jones, Allstar Weekend, and Kicking Daisies, all of whom broke out through Radio Disney's cross-platform "N.B.T." (Next Best Thing.) The show is promoted across the Disney Channel, and Radio Disney, as well as online.
Playlists also include veteran Disney-affiliated artists such as Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. The stations play only age-appropriate songs by the artists, or cleaned up versions that remove potentially risqué language.
While the songs exclude anything judged too adult, they aren't broken down by genre, Guerini said.
"This audience doesn’t put the genres on music that we as adults do," he said. "If they like a song, it doesn’t matter. It can be a country song, it can be a hip-hop song, it can be a dance song. If they like it, they want to hear it over and over and over again."