Radio Makes TV Advertising More Effective

In another era, one might have called it strange bedfellows. But with the increased sophistication of targeting data provided by AM/FM radio, the fact that a major cable television network utilized the airwaves to help promote a returning scripted drama series makes good sense. And more importantly, it produced tangible results.

Westwood One retained Nielsen to study how the combination of marketing via AM/FM radio along with paid TV spots and promos running on their network and co-owned over-the-air networks helped drive tune-in for the premiere of the show’s returning season.

“We wanted to understand how radio impacted the marketing mix,” says Lauren Vetrano, director of Content Marketing at Cumulus Media/Westwood One, who explains results of the case study in a post on the Everybody’s Listening blog. The headline offers the big picture: “AM/FM radio generates incremental reach and amplified frequency for TV tune-in campaign.”

Using the 80,000 person Portable People Meter panel for AM/FM radio and TV audiences, Nielsen looked at four different groups: those unexposed to the radio campaign, those exposed to the radio campaign, those exposed to the TV campaign, and those who saw/heard both the TV and radio ads. The methodology: Nielsen then measured the tune-in conversion impact of the groups. Ad occurrence data was sourced from Media Monitors for AM/FM radio and Nielsen Ad Intel for paid TV and TV promos.

Among the key findings: AM/FM radio accounted for a small percentage of the media budget but generated significant impressions and incremental reach. In fact, radio represented only 5% of paid media, although it delivered 20% of total campaign impressions. Those impressions translate to incremental reach. The paid TV campaign reached 37.3 million Americans; while AM/FM radio added an incremental audience of +15%, bringing 5.4 million new eyes to watch the series.

In addition, with amplified frequency, AM/FM radio drove tune-in conversion. The more frequently consumers were exposed to tune-in ads, the greater the conversion to viewing the TV series premiere. Tune-in conversion was especially high among consumers who are exposed to ads six or more times, Westwood One reveals. AM/FM radio amplified paid TV 6+ frequency by

an astounding 80%. According to Nielsen’s data, those who were exposed to the campaign messaging more times on both platforms tuned in at a higher rate than those who were reached only on AM/FM radio or just TV. The conversion by frequency goes like this: only reached by radio, 5%; only reached by TV, 20%; and those reached by both TV and AM/FM, 36%.

According to the Westwood One stats, compared to TV, AM/FM radio also delivers a significantly younger audience: 70% of AM/FM radio impressions came from 18-54 year olds, while nearly half of all TV impressions were from 55+.

“AM/FM radio is the exceptionally efficient media choice,” Vetrano writes. From a cost standpoint, traditional radio’s reach and impressions “were achieved much more efficiently.” AM/FM radio is only 20% of TV’S CPM and cost per thousand net reach.

According to the research, TV tune-in best practice is to utilize 125-150 gross rating points (GRPs) of network radio to efficiently optimize a tune-in campaign with incremental reach and amplified frequency. TV tune-in campaigns, meanwhile, should move away from the “spray and pray” methods of only 10 to 25 campaign GRPs, given that 10-25 GRPs only generate a 8-17% reach. In other words, a $625,000 investment in network radio, assuming a $5,000 cost per point, reaches 42% of adults 25-54 over the course of a week. Thus, if only 5% of the campaign budget grows paid TV reach by 15% and amplifies frequency 80%, “it is apparent that allocating more budget to AM/FM radio will increase campaign impact,” she says.

The powerful conclusion: “Driving TV tune-in effectively requires AM/FM radio and TV working in unison. Advertisers can increase tune-in campaign impact by shifting some of the media budget from paid TV to AM/FM radio to boost reach, frequency and attract TV program viewers among a desirable younger audience. AM/FM radio accounted for a small percentage of the media budget but generated significant impressions and incremental reach.”

Source: Inside Radio September 18, 2018 NielsenAudio Portable People Meter Study 2018