Radio Killed the Advert Star

In the UK we are bombarded with US TV shows everyday from simply Murder She Wrote right through to the syndication of CSI, Law and Order, or Heroes. Lost, for example, was shown soon after the US airing because people download the shows and the money is gone. To stop this, the parity between networks (and, almost, the times of showing) are close. I am reminded that I am a season behind my Dexter by adverts for season five over here. This frustrates as much as it agitates.

But, one thing we don’t have transported to the UK at all is the US Radio. And whilst I had already blogged about the differences in the US TV scheduling and the incredible adverts, radio in the US is quite different too. Firstly, the adverts are insane. Infact, worse than the TV. For example, the strangest one was for a drug that I can’t remember the name of. What it did the advert didn’t say – they said they “couldn’t”. Also, more perplexingly, they even suggested you’d be stupid to try it… it was a free trail of some “health enhancing drug”. What kind of advert cannot tell you what they are advertising?

Secondly there are the strange fake adverts. These adverts are disguised as banter between the hosts or host of the show. All the time on my current station du jour, 94.5 The Buzz, the lady that does the morning slots with Rod Ryan every so often starts talking abut how much she loves the show Jerseylicious. Now, the first time I heard it I thought it was just her talking about the show off hand… but later I realized it must be heavily scripted. To the point where she actually back tracks sometimes on what she is saying because she’s made a mistake! It’s hilarious.

The other really strange thing is that the radio stations are much more liberal. That might sound insane to someone on the outside, but just this morning the station was reviewing the upcoming shows not based on their actual acting or content, but who in the show is a babe and if there was any previous work that they had done that allowed you to see them naked. They then gave out, as a prize, month subscriptions to porn websites. I almost called in.

But of course, there’s Satellite radio. In the UK the commission went for DAB which might’ve been a mistake. In the US there’s satellite radio which is, as much as I can see, very similar to Satellite TV. There is hundreds of channels literally just playing music. One, called Lithium, plays 1990s rock music. Over the weekend driving to San Antonio, I heard Spoonman by Soundgarden 5 times. I wasn’t complaining. It is funny to note that I think you can find on these services the BBC stations too.

In a week I’ve noticed a lot of differences in the way media is represented here, and to be perfectly honest I hate it. The adverts on the TV stations are disgusting in their frequency and the number of times I see the same one a day is maddening, especially when I don’t watch much TV.