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National NextRadio Ad Flight Debuts Monday

Characterized as “fun, positive way” to inform consumers about radio on smartphones

The nationwide ad campaign to inform consumers about the availability of FM chips on certain Sprint smartphones is due to begin on Monday, Feb. 23.

Emmis President/CEO/Chair Jeff Smulyan made the announcement at the North American Broadcasters Association “Future of Radio & Audio” Summit on Thursday.

NAB Labs has helped with development of the NextRadio FM smartphone app and the broadcast lobbying association is aiding the marketing effort. NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith has sent stations a letter asking them to consider donating inventory to air the ads. Noting that a variety of spots are available, Smith says “each station should evaluate and select the spots that best align with their business interests.”

New York advertising agency DeVito/Verdi created the ads. The privately-held company has worked for clients like NAB, Kohl’s, Sony, Canon, BMW, CarMax and others.

The initial spots focus on familiarizing consumers with the concept of listening to radio on their smartphone. Emmis SVP/CTO Paul Brenner and NextRadio Marketing Director Michael Cox recently told Radio World in an interview that the audio brand awareness campaign involves “several hundred million dollars’ worth of inventory.”

Brenner characterized the spots as a “fun, positive way” to inform consumers about listening to radio on their devices.

The new campaign is an expansion of the “Free Radio On My Phone” effort that began this fall on NPR, American Public Media and Educational Media Foundation stations and has expanded to include others.

The NextRadio app comes preloaded on 34 Sprint devices to-date.

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