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Face Value: Study Shows AM/FM Radio Over-indexes With Facial Aesthetics Market.


While it may be assumed that advertising for facial aesthetics — as in non-surgical anti-wrinkle treatments via injection, with prominent brands including Botox, Xeomin, and Jeuveau — would be more effective on visual media, new research shows just the opposite.


Results of a study commissioned by ad agency Veritone One in conjunction with Signal Hill Insights and MARU/Matchbox among more than 1,500 Americans 18+ with health insurance — who have either already had at least one facial non-surgical treatment in the past year, or are likely to consider such a treatment — show that AM/FM radio and podcasts are more effective than TV at reaching this potentially large market.


“Large proportions of aesthetic prospects feel the non-surgical treatments are popular, natural looking, and improve self-image and self-confidence,” Veritone One Senior VP and Managing Director Conor Doyle says in the analysis of this study in Westwood One’s weekly blog. “Those who have had treatments in the last year are more likely to cite other conditions to a much greater degree.”


Doyle notes that according to the study, the facial conditions most respondents are either conscious of or have received treatment for include forehead lines, bags under the eyes, frown lines, crow’s feet, and sagging skin, with the average patient having had 2.5 procedures in the last year.


The research shows what may be a surprising younger skew among past-year facial aesthetics patients, with 62% of those age 18-34, and 85% 18-49. Likewise, 43% of those considering such treatments are also 18-34.


Here’s the good news for AM/FM radio: nearly one-third (31%) of past-year facial aesthetic patients and 28% of prospects are heavy AM/FM listeners. Those numbers are also impressive for heavy podcast listeners, with 23% of past-year patients and 18% of prospects.


For heavy TV viewers, meanwhile, it’s a different story: just 9% have had such treatment in the past year. The research also shows that heavy AM/FM listeners are 41% more likely than the U.S. average to be aesthetics patients, and 27% more likely to be looking into treatment, indexing 228% higher and 57% higher than heavy TV viewers in those two categories, respectively. Heavy podcast listeners who are past-year patients or prospects index 386% or 102% higher than heavy TV viewers.


“Why is TV so dramatically underrepresented among aesthetic patients and prospects? Live and time-shifted TV has very low reach among younger demographics,” Doyle says, citing Nielsen data showing that live and time-shifted TV misses half of Americans 18-34s weekly, and Edison data showing podcast reach is now as big as TV among 18-34s.


Using Nielsen Media Impact to show the change in reach of adults 18+ from a Botox network-TV-heavy media plan in 2023 when 20% of the budget is shifted to AM/FM radio, that reach nearly doubles, from 25.4% using just TV to 48.7% when AM/FM’s added to the mix. A deeper dive shows that with AM/FM ads, Botox’s combined radio-and-TV reach of adults 18-24 jumps 514%, with a 384% reach increase for 25-34s. “While the vast majority of aesthetic patients and prospects are 18-49 and 18-34, the Botox TV buy missed 93% of 18-34s and 80% of 35-54s,” notes Doyle. Also notable is the massive reach growth among light TV viewers when AM/FM radio is added, with a 253% lift.


According to AM/FM radio listeners in the MARU/Matchbox study who are either aesthetics patients or prospects, the formats potentially most effective for such advertising include top 40, R&B/Hip-Hop, classic rock, oldies/classic hits, and news/talk.

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