What is radio imaging?
We’ve all been there. You meet a new acquaintance and they ask you what you do for a living. For most people it’s fairly straightforward; Accountant, policeman, teacher, all instantly recognisable fields. Not so for a radio imaging producer.
“So you’re like the guy who talks to Chris Moyles” – No.
“Is that your voice that introduces everything?” – No (well, maybe sometimes).
The way I’ve always explained it is this; Everything that you hear that is NOT the DJ/presenter, a song or an advert, is made by someone like me.
“Ahhh, so you make the JINGLES!” – Sigh….. Yes, I guess you could say that (it’s the closest they’ll get).
You're the jingle guy!
Radio imaging is a broad term used to describe the multiple and varied on-air sound elements used to identify, brand and market a particular radio station - Voiceover, music beds, sweepers, branded intros, promo/trails, jingles. The combination of these create an overall ‘station sound’ which markets the station towards a particular audience and demographic in the marketplace. For example, Females aged 18-35, or adults aged 35+.
A station’s imaging should help listeners clearly identify and distinguish one radio station from another. Radio 1 for example sounds very different to Heart, Kiss very different from Absolute. Imaging also gives a station character, signaling to the listener the sort of content and music format they may expect from the station. The script writing is key to this. The language used is scripted with the target audience in mind. Kiss for example, target a young market – and their language reflects this; short, snappy ‘on trend’ youthful language is used, often with a harsh and abrasive delivery. In comparison, Radio 4 is at the other end of the spectrum; long, structured sentences with soft delivery and tone, easy on the ear.
Imaging can help create the energy, tone, mood, and feel of a station. It can create an impression, such as the feeling that the music never stops, or the renegade, bad boy attitude of Jack FM ‘doing what they want’.
So there we have it. Put simply, Radio imaging is the sound of a radio station; an identity and sound that connects with a stations target audience demographic.