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ABX Measurements Show Radio COVID-19 Messages High On Effectiveness.

A new post from the Radio Advertising Bureau’s Radio Matters blog says a study of COVID-19-related radio ads scored “amazingly high” in terms of advertising effectiveness.

The 168 ads were measured by Advertising Benchmark Index (ABX) since March 4. Spots that gave thanks to first responders, provided advice about avoiding COVID-19 and conveyed a serious tone all found success.

The post says it appears that consumers aren’t reacting negatively to ads during the pandemic. “Rather, they seem to have welcomed it and have responded more positively to advertising overall, compared to how they reacted before the pandemic got started,” writes author Angela Jeffrey, VP of Brand Management at ABX.

A similar ABX survey of 14 countries revealed that average ad creative scores have seen improvement since early March — by 13% in the U.S. and 11% in Europe, as well as other regions.

“Those with COVID-19-related content performed better than those without, by 175%,” Jeffrey writes. “This tells us that advertisers can become authority figures during times of crisis if they play it right.”

Some 65% of the radio ads tested by ABX, the post says, have been successful at generating COVID-19-related messaging, in the process generating some of the strongest ABX Radio ad effectiveness scores ever recorded. Overall, it appears the current era of crisis has demonstrated radio’s strength across the board. “When we look at ABX radio norms, it is significant to say all but a handful of radio ads with COVID-19-specific messages were above the norms and long-term averages,” the post says.

Among the top radio COVID-19-related spots:

IHOP’s “Share IHOP’s New Family Feast,” a 15-second spot that appeared early during the pandemic and offered an IHOP Family Feast for Four for $24.99; Pizza Hut’s “Pizza Hut now Delivers Pizza and Beer,” a 30-spot; Comcast Xfinity’s “The Coronavirus has Affected …,” a 60-second spot that deals with giving free internet access to consumers at all hotspots nationwide throughout this crisis; Panera Bread’s “As so many of us adjust our daily routines …,” a 30-second spot that touts the brand’s healthy food with a COVID-19 story woven in and out; and Subway’s “Feeding America’s Network of Food Banks,” a 30-second spot that announces the donation of 15 million meals — one for each footlong sandwich purchased before the end of April.

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