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Putting Some Ho-Ho In Radio Ads Could Help Boost Effectiveness, Study Finds.

There is fresh research showing all those Christmas commercials do more than put listeners in the holiday spirit. It turns out, they are actually more effective for advertisers. Katz Media Group tested generic radio spots against holiday-themed ads, that include seasonal music and sound effects. The results showed a double whammy of holiday cheer for radio.

First, every tested radio ad improved brand consideration by 10.3%. But those ads that incorporated some form of holiday cheer into their copy and creative saw brand consideration rise by 13.1%. That represents a 27% boost in effectiveness for holiday ads compared to generic radio spots.

“Katz provides crucial insights and creative best practices for advertisers throughout the year that tie into radio’s live, local, and contextual opportunities,” said Meredith Murphy, Director of Marketing Strategy for Katz Media Group. “Our new holiday season study shows that the sounds of the season strike emotional and sentimental chords with consumers. Brands that incorporate holiday sounds and themes resonate with consumers and see a boost in ad effectiveness.”

The holiday spirit impact is not limited to the kinds of categories that are mostly tied to the Christmas season either, like spots for retailers. Katz says the research conducted last December tested two versions of audio ads for advertisers from financial, insurance, recruitment, and specialty retailer/service provider categories and the impact of mentioning the holiday season also improved their brand consideration scores.

It is not just the holiday-themed ads that prove successful but also the programming environment. Katz says stations that flip to all holiday music stand to see massive increases in listenership with a sampling of stations in top 10 markets seeing an average cume increase of 46% last year according to Nielsen PPM data.

Katz Radio Group’s Holiday Music Survey – which was conducted Nov. 28-30 – found that 72% said holiday music improves their mood and 72% also said holiday music plays a part in increasing their enjoyment of the season. Katz says brands that incorporate holiday songs, or holiday-inspired musical beds and themes into their spots are able to tap into this compelling mindset.

The Katz survey also helps explain why all-Christmas ratings and advertisers both benefit from an embrace of the Christmas season. Katz found that seven in ten adults said they enjoy this time of year "very much," and believe it is a good idea for brands to embrace it as well. Among those it surveyed, 72% said they believe that advertising is more effective when a holiday theme is added.

“The holiday season is a joyful, festive time that consumers overwhelmingly enjoy. It also has a variety of familiar music, sounds, and references to ‘decorate’ generic ad creative and help boost consumer response,” says Katz. “All brands have the opportunity to tap into the festiveness of the season to drum up increased brand consideration during the holidays.”

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