Regional media players target agency dollars with 'industry first'

Josh McDonnell
By Josh McDonnell | 4 April 2019
The "Boomtown" committee

Australia's regional media players have united in an "industry first" to tackle the issue of lowering media spend in the nations key regional areas.

Australian media owners including Southern Cross Austereo (SCA), Win, Prime Media Group, Australian Community Media, Imparja and Grant Broadcasters have joined forces to launch a new campaign touting the strength of regional media.

Called 'Boomtown' the push by the broadcasters has been designed to shine a light on the benefits of advertising outside of the country's metro media hubs.

Speaking at the launch event last night, SCA chief sales officer and chair of the Boomtown committee, Brian Gallagher says it is about changing the perception of regional media, adding that agencies need to "increasingly invest" in the growing population.

He says the concept of regional Australia being purely farming and outback is incorrect and that more and more Australian's are working in "white collar" jobs.

“Regional Australia is a Boomtown for brands who have previously underinvested in this growing market," Gallagher says.

“Only 10% of national media budgets are spent regionally, despite 36% of the country’s population living there. That’s 8.8 million Australians being ignored by advertising in an extraordinarily uncluttered environment.”

Speaking to AdNews, Grant Broadcasters group general manager Jeremy Simpson says agencies needed to "reconsider how they spend".

Adding that while his network is mainly supported by local advertising, he says national brands still have an important role to play.

"We've had some great support from national finance business which has since gone on to create localised campaigns based on region and that's lead to strong brand retention and growth," Simpson says.

"From Grant's position, advertisers are also recognised as part of the community, as the ad revenue that goes into each station stays within that area and fuels a greater engagement and brand loyalty."

65% of all regional area residents have investments averaging $495,000, which is on par with the metro market, while residents aged 25-54 have an annual income of $93,000.

According to the committee, this coupled with the lower cost of housing and the growing number of people moving outside of metro hubs has led to a booming "cash splash".

Boomtown will take go live from April 8, across multiple platforms and channels, and will be in-market for three months with events held in Sydney and Melbourne and via in-agency activity nationally.

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