One of my favorite marketing buddies (and past broadcast industry co-workers) Chuck and I used to talk about allowing radio listeners to buy out the ad inventory prior to the next commercial break by donating enough money to the station to “buy back” the ad space from whatever advertisers were scheduled to play next.

There was still value to the advertiser — they would get mentioned during the offer to “buy back” the spot even if the audience was successful in their effort to skip it:

Don’t want to hear that car commercial ad from Local Car Dealer coming up next? You still have time to buy their spot back!

The potential here was that your station would be perceived as being on the side of the listener, while still promoting advertisers, and potentially earning more money on spot revenue than it was originally sold for. You could also allow the money to accumulate in order to create a commercial-free hour.

I still think the concept has merit (reach out to me if you want to discuss it in more detail), and I bring it up because it looks like a group of people took the concept and skewed it to apply to subway billboard advertising:

“For the next two weeks, a Tube station in South London will create a rip in the space time continuum. The Citizens Advertising Takeover Service has replaced 68 adverts in Clapham Common with pictures of cats. This isn’t a clever marketing stunt for a pet food brand, or a guerrilla campaign for a new TV series. The people behind it are volunteers who raised the money on Kickstarter.”


Their effort was nothing to sneeze at. Their Kickstarter campaign raised almost US$30,000 to accomplish this feat of creative commercialism.

Think about how you could apply this concept from a Media Rep standpoint.

Why not get advertisers who support the same cause to band together and run advertising campaigns that aren’t filled with banal advertising messages?

What if you helped non-profits find advertisers who would donate their ad space to promoting their worthy cause?

Lots of revolutionary ideas to explore here…

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