Friday, January 8, 2016


You probably have not thought about them or how much you have missed them until now. With the Irish economy recovering, traffic and its accompanying jams have become more common. Often while sitting in your car the only company you have is the DJ on your favourite radio station.

For small businesses from Irish dancing schools to dental repair stores car advertising or rolling billboards are an easy and effective way to promote your unique message onto a captive audience sitting in one of those M50 tailbacks plus the bonus of no planning permission required. 

But my question is, where have all the radio station window and bumper stickers gone? Ever since the 1980’s with the super pirates like Radio Nova and Sunshine Radio, not forgetting TTTR, the humble car sticker created brand awareness especially in a crowded market. The addition of the sticker to your back window was usually associated with a ‘unique code’ competition to encourage the strategic placement of the station sticker. Like the stickers on my window, they seemed to have faded into history.

Is cost the issue for today’s broadcasters? When every last penny is being accounted for was the number of stickers being handed out not matched to the number of stickers appearing on cars? But people in radioland, it takes more than just ‘free’ stickers to encourage motorists to allow a radio station advertise on their car. Free advertising is not cheap.

Over the years I never saw a TV station or a newspaper car sticker, it was always your favourite radio station or your sporting affiliation. The sticker was just as much a revelation of something about you as it was advertising the radio station. It told fellow travelers I liked country and western music, I was rich enough to own my own car and I wanted to win one hundred euro if my number was called out on air. It was about who I am not just 98FM or FM104.

This is not just a trend in Ireland but also in airwaves filled America, whose population embrace bumper stickers of all kinds, telling almost your entire life story on the bumper of your car. I feel advertising agencies and stations are missing a vital trick into their marketing arsenals. Traditional radio has become preoccupied with streamlining their business models, pandering to corporate advertisers and looking over their shoulder at internet radio rather than forward at the listeners they already have.

Bring back the radio station car window stickers..please.

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