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New Ad Study Shows AM/FM Creates Future, And Converts Existing, Brand Demand.

A just-released wide-spanning study of AM/FM radio ad effectiveness – encompassing more than 1,000 campaigns for 463 brands – shows the power of radio advertising for brands: how it helps to create future demand and convert existing demand, and how its best-performing campaigns focus on creative consistency and greater reach.

The “Big Audio Datamine” study, from UK data analysis agency Colourtext in conjunction with British radio industry group Radiocentre – which has examined UK radio campaigns for more than a decade – reports that AM/FM radio “consistently delivers significant uplifts for advertisers across a wide range of long- and short-term effectiveness outcomes.”

Westwood One's analysis of the study's findings, as covered in their current blog, points out that exposure to radio campaigns drove ad awareness up 49%, brand relevance 24% and brand trust 32%. Coulourtext and Radiocentre found these lifts to be three to five time greater than AM/FM radio’s average 8% share of total media spend.

“The best way to create future demand is through targeting broad audiences with emotional messaging,” Cumulus Media and Westwood One Audio Active Group Chief Insights Officer Pierre Bouvard says, citing additional research on the topic. “This type of creative is meant to stand out and create positive memories of a brand that will influence future purchase decisions.”

As for radio's ability to convert existing demand to eventual purchasing, the study shows AM/FM campaigns pushed brand consideration up 18%, online search 21% and accessing the brand's website 19%. “The way to convert existing demand is by tightly targeting with rational messaging (ie. product information or price) that can persuade consumers to choose one product over another,” Bouvard notes.

According to Big Audio Datamine, automotive, B2B, travel, CPG and telecom brands showed the greatest lifts in brand recall – all above the 49% average increase – due to ads on AM/FM radio. Campaigns performing best emphasized creative consistency. “Campaigns that feature distinctive audio elements strongly associated with the brand – such as music, voices, straplines, brand characters or a sonic brand device – and use them consistently within different radio executions and across media (where relevant) achieve greater effects,” the report says.

Another of the study's takeaways was how radio campaigns focused on building higher weekly reach deliver stronger effects, with the report stating “the average uplift rate in effectiveness outcomes is significantly greater for higher-reach campaigns than for lower-reach campaigns.” Bouvard adds, “Optimizing for reach can occur by diversifying media plans with additional AM/FM radio programming formats, more stations and shifting weight to all days and dayparts. The goal is to grow reach and reduce frequency. Remind the many. Don’t lecture the few.”

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