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Moderna Harnessing Radio To Broaden Its Brand Beyond Vaccines.


Moderna became part of the American lexicon during the pandemic when it introduced a widely adopted COVID-19 vaccine. But now the Boston-based company wants to broaden its brand beyond just vaccines and broadcast radio is one of the channels being used to do just that.


Since mid-September, Moderna has climbed from the top 25 radio advertisers into the top five. In the month of September alone, it used AM/FM radio to reach over 83 million Americans. In the most recent spot tracking period, the week of Oct. 9-15, Moderna surged to No. 2 with 45,888 airings, second only to perennial No. 1 ZipRecruiter.


“We didn’t want to be known as only a COVID company,” Chief Brand Officer Kate Cronin says in a Q&A with AdAge. “You saw what happened to companies that did well during COVID—the stocks went down after. Our technology works across a number of pillars. We’re studying mRNA for infections, diseases, cancers, rare diseases, and latent viruses as well so there’s a huge opportunity.”


Radio isn’t the only channel Moderna is using to position itself as a company that merges technology, science, and health together to solve the world’s greatest health challenges. It also uses other marketing means like digital and on-site activations. Moderna had a booth at the U.S. Open and was at last month’s iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas. It is working with the New York Giants, the New England Patriots and other NFL teams and sports teams in its hometown, like the Celtics and the Red Sox.


Elsewhere on the national advertising front, the Home Depot has charged back into the top 5 (11-3) with 45,655 spots helping Americans “knock out their fall to-dos.” That’s about 20,000 more than rival Lowe’s ran (24,693, ranked No. 14). Discover Financial Services returns to the top 10 with 436,234 airings for its Discover credit card.


Procter & Gamble, meanwhile, is now up to 14 different brands in the top 100 radio advertisers, led by Vicks at No. 4. In the insurance wars there are five carriers vying for share of mind, led by State Farm at No. 33.


For the week of Oct 9-15, the top ten on the Media Monitors tally are ZipRecruiter at 1, Moderna at 2, The Home Depot at 3, Vicks at 4, “McCartney: A Life In Lyrics” podcast at 5, Upside at 6, Babbel at 7, Discovery at 8, Wendy’s at 9 and Pfizer at 10.



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