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Why Radio Is A Good Bet For Experiential Marketing Dollars.


Among ad categories continuing to recover in the post-COVID era, Leisure and Entertainment remains on a double-digit growth roll. Total consumer spending on Leisure & Entertainment/Out-of-home Activities in 2023 is forecast to climb 12.2% to $566.1 billion in 2023, according to a Mintel analysis of Bureau of Economic Analysis data. This follows back-to-back recovery years of 28.2% growth in 2021 and 21.3% in 2022.


Even with the effects of inflation, consumers eager to return to their favorite leisure pastimes will continue to drive growth in the half-trillion-dollar category. Out-of-home activities for consumers in 2023 are forecasted to grow 41% from 2017 and 12% from 2022, with the greatest increases coming from live performances, sporting events and activity-specific venues.


An analysis of MRI-Simmons latest release provides ammo for sales departments aiming for Leisure and Entertainment ad dollars. And for stations looking to attract sponsorship dollars for their outdoor events. It shows that consumers who have attended food/beverage or music festivals over the past year engage more with radio than any other traditional media across multiple age groups. Katz Radio Group’s Lisa Cirigliano says this demonstrates that “radio is the tool to reach these active consumers.”


Zeroing in on people who have attended a music festival in the past year, radio’s reach is 49% greater than TV among 18-34 year-olds, 51% higher than TV among 18-49 year-olds, 54% above that of TV for 25-54 year-olds and 45% higher than TV among 35-64 year-olds, Cirigliano writes in a Katz Radio Group blog post.


In addition to using radio to fish where the music festival fish are, the Katz analysis shows advertisers are likely to get a halo effect from their event sponsorship investments. Among 18+ consumers, an MRI-Simmons analysis shows 42% are more likely to buy products from companies that advertise or sponsor events in their community and 50% would more likely buy a brand that supports a cause they care about, building a halo effect for sponsors. “Couple that with radio’s strength in engaging with listeners, and you get a winning combination, helping advertisers build emotional connections and loyalty through audience interactions and engagement,” Cirigliano adds.


Radio’s reach out-delivers any other medium, engaging with 92% of the P18+ U.S. population each month, according to Nielsen. And radio personalities are often seen as the original media influencers with 60% of Adult 18+ AM/FM radio listeners indicating the main reason they listen is because of the DJ/Host/Shows they listen to per Jacobs Media Techsurvey 2023.


With brands looking to build stronger connections with consumers as well as drive growth, and as people become more comfortable taking part in group leisure activities, partnering with a medium with strong roots in local communities is a natural. “Event sponsorships offer marketers a great opportunity for immersive elements, allowing consumers to engage with brands using all senses,” Cirigliano says. “Whether a festival, music concert, charity, or self-enriching event, no medium can bring consumers and brands together with turnkey activation, in an environment that fuels meaningful connections with consumers, and can showcase brands better than radio.”

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