Wintrust Financial touts local radio

Locally-owned bank gets ad to run on 40-plus stations at the same time 

: 51 p.m.    Chicago radio listeners, another “roadblock” is taking place.

But unlike the last one, this one is much shorter – and probably more enjoyable to listen to.

On Monday, forty members of the Radio Broadcasters of Chicagoland plan to air a single, sixty-second ad for  Rosemont-based Wintrust Financial Co. simultaneously at 4:29 p.m. Central Time, according to Chicago Business Journal. The ad features CEO Ed Wehmer on why the medium of radio is very effective for his business. Wintrust is one of Chicago’s largest locally-owned financial institutions, and is a major sponsor of both the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox. Wintrust is also a sponsor of WGN-AM’s Noon business show, The Wintrust Business Lunch.

No money changed hands in the deal.

Werher said: “Wintrust is the second largest bank holding company headquartered in Chicago, and it’s very important for us to connect with the local community. Radio ties it all together for Wintrust, and is the most important asset on the media side to achieve brand awareness.”

The Radio Broadcasters of Chicagoland consists of stations comprising of the iHeartMedia, Cumulus, CBS Radio, and Hubbard groups, plus WGN-AM.

Wintrust officials obviously believe in the power of radio, despite numerous problems hampering the medium as many listeners have abandoned the medium for other alternatives amid the usual complaints (too many commercials, tight playlists, right-wing talk, incompetent executives, etc.) Still, radio has a stronger reach than any platform and is one of the reasons Wintrust continues to believe in it.

As you recall, the Radio Broadcasters of Chicagoland and the Illinois Broadcasters Association sponsored a roadblock last November featuring a half-hour interview with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was interviewed by Bill Kurtis and aired simultaneously on 47 radio stations across the metropolitan area and drew nearly a third of radio listeners, according to Nielsen. The idea and broadcast was praised by many radio insiders, but panned by many listeners, given the Mayor’s current popularity in Chicago, or lack thereof.

Yours truly praised the idea, but found the execution lacking.

(Updated at 9:51 p.m. to add no money was exchanged in deal.)