More on “Arbitron-Rated #1”

I’ve gotten some feedback on the piece I did suggesting you use the phrase “Arbitron-rated #1” or some such language as appropriate on your air.

Here’s the essence of the feedback:

– Some psychologists think too much #1 will turn off listeners – So many stations are using this phrase it’s now a cliche – This sounds like an empty claim, lacking in credibility

My response:

Nowhere in the strategic rule book does it say that you MUST use the specific phrase “Arbitron-Rated #1.” This is industry jargon that we have all assumed to be sacrosanct. Even Arbitron tells me that you can use any language you want so long as it expresses the ratings truth and in no way suggests what folks should do in the future. So I say, use whatever words you want. But get two things across: The word “Arbitron” and the idea that you are the leader in some meaningful area.

Second, while some folks get off on zigging when the rest of the world is zagging, that’s not how most folks behave. And while it’s true that Avis made a lot of headway by saying “#2 tries harder” what Avis really did was guarantee it would forever be #2. And I don’t know any radio stations that are content with that ranking if #1 is within reach.

No claim sounds empty if it’s supported by Arbitron’s facts. And that’s the big difference here.

Granted most folks don’t know who Arbitron is, but we’re not doing this for “most folks.” We’re doing it for the folks who get the diaries. And they know EXACTLY who Arbitron is.

Finally, if more than one station in a market is using phrases like this, it doesn’t mean you should necessarily avoid it. Don’t forget that your air speaks to your audience – especially your heavy audience – most. Nobody else in the market can say that. Let them work over their audience – you work over yours.

End of rant.

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