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What Ad Categories Are Hot On Radio During Pandemic?

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Analysis released Wednesday shows how the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered the nature of radio advertising during the past several weeks. Media Monitors says its latest research shows how the crisis has dramatically affected radio advertising by individual categories.

Local auto dealers, part of local radio’s backbone, cut their spending in half. “Dealer associations are even more ad-shy while auto manufacturers are all but absent [from] the airwaves,” Media Monitors President Philippe Generali said in a news release.

Forced to shut down by state-mandated stay-at-home orders, retail, restaurants, events, hotels, gyms and movies pulled their ads.

As Inside Radio reported Tuesday, no fewer than eight U.S. Government advertisers placed in the top 100 radio advertisers, based on spot count, led by the Social Security Administration which ran 79,297 spots, for the week of April 27-May 3.


In a breakout of radio advertising in the 85 markets it tracks, Media Monitors found Educational Tools was the top category for the week of April 13-19 with a staggering 539% increase over the same period one month earlier. Farming, Lawn & Garden Equipment Products and Services and Public Service & Organizational Advertisers doubled their spot count month over month.


“PSAs and government messages have taken the top spots on our airwaves,” Generali said. “Insurance providers also have a large increase – perhaps an investment in radio spending from some of the cash saved with presumably fewer claims,” he added. Progressive, GEICO, Allstate, Liberty and State Farm have all been top radio advertisers in recent weeks.

Media Monitors claims its spot radio analysis “once again demonstrates the power of radio as a broadcast medium for public service and organizational outlets, and confirms that listeners will turn to radio for important information during a highly critical time such as the current pandemic.”

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