Pharmaceutical is the newest category to discover AM/FM radio’s ability to grow awareness, drive brand equity, and boost purchase intent.
One reason for the growth in the category? Maribeth Papuga, veteran media agency executive, asserts that it could be a result of political and Olympics-related advertisers cornering large amounts of TV inventory, causing drug clients to increase radio spending “to broaden reach and secure better efficiencies as well as more inventory choice.”
CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One measures AM/FM radio campaign effect with new pharmaceutical brand case study
With more pharmaceutical brand attention on AM/FM radio than ever, CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One commissioned MARU/Matchbox to conduct two studies to measure the effect of an AM/FM radio campaign. A pharmaceutical brand had been on AM/FM radio for the past couple of years, but increased spend in Fall 2019. The studies were fielded in March 2019 and the end of December 2019. Here are the key findings:
Among heavy AM/FM radio listeners, ad recall is three times greater versus the overall market
When the AM/FM radio ad was played, 31% of heavy AM/FM radio listeners said they’ve heard the ad compared to 12% in the total market.
Aided awareness surges +47% among heavy AM/FM radio listeners
Aided awareness of the brand soars from 17% in March 2019 to 25% in December 2019 among heavy AM/FM radio listeners. As heavy AM/FM radio listeners have the greatest opportunity to hear the campaign, it’s no wonder awareness has surged. With the brand not running on TV, it makes sense that awareness among heavy AM/FM radio listeners is double that of heavy TV viewers.
Likelihood to take action nearly doubles overall and grows nearly 3X among heavy radio listeners
Among consumers overall, the proportion of those saying they would take an action after hearing the ad grows from 11% in March 2019 to 21% in December 2019. Among heavy AM/FM radio listeners, likelihood to take an action jumps 14% to 40% over the same period.
Exposure to AM/FM radio drives website visitation, product research, recommendation, purchase, and more
Likelihood of visiting the pharmaceutical brand’s website is up +150% post-exposure to the campaign. Likelihood of looking for the product/service doubles, as does likelihood of talking to someone about the product and likelihood of purchasing it.
Kantar: Pharmaceutical ads work, according to Consumers’ Behaviors and Attitudes Toward Healthcare Advertising Report
CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One’s analysis is not the first evidence of AM/FM radio’s strength for pharmaceutical brands. A major case study from Kantar/MARS, the bible of pharmaceutical marketing impact, revealed AM/FM radio’s strength:
- Consumer response to pharmaceutical ads reveals two-thirds of consumers have taken action as a result of exposure to healthcare advertising
- Those exposed to pharmaceutical ads on AM/FM radio have the same proportion of “actions taken” response as television, digital, and outdoor advertising
- Whether it’s making an appointment to see a doctor, taking medication, purchasing a non-Rx product, calling for a refill, or using a coupon, those who have heard a pharmaceutical ad on AM/FM radio have the same degree of response as those who saw pharmaceutical ads in other media
ABX: Pharmaceutical AM/FM radio ads test at 90% of the impact of pharmaceutical TV ads for a third of the CPM
More evidence for pharmaceutical? Creative testing firm ABX recently presented results from brand new pharmaceutical ad testing. ABX took the audio tracks from sixty-second pharmaceutical TV ads and tested them as AM/FM radio ads. The findings were amazing. The “AM/FM radio” ads scored at 90% of the TV ads despite CPMs for TV being three times greater than AM/FM radio.
Due to a lack of experience with audio ads, pharmaceutical brands sometimes steer clear of AM/FM radio. The worry is that the impact of audio ads will not be as great as TV creative. But with ABX’s finding that AM/FM radio pharmaceutical ads perform at nearly the same level as TV ads, pharmaceutical brands should be more encouraged to give AM/FM radio a try.
It seems every month there is a new pharmaceutical brand on AM/FM radio. As media agency executive Papuga asserts, “Many brands have seen positive results by including radio in the mix as long as the creative parameters can be accomplished along with adhering to the category guidelines.” With more pharmaceutical brands venturing into AM/FM radio, the justification for the medium in the mix will only continue to strengthen.
- Among heavy AM/FM radio listeners, ad recall is three times greater versus the overall market
- Aided awareness surges +47% among heavy AM/FM radio listeners
- Likelihood to take action nearly doubles overall and grows nearly 3X among heavy radio listeners
- Exposure to AM/FM radio drives website visitation, product research, recommendation, purchase, and more
- Kantar: Pharmaceutical ads work, according to Consumers’ Behaviors and Attitudes Toward Healthcare Advertising Report
- ABX: Pharmaceutical AM/FM radio ads test at 90% of the impact of pharmaceutical TV ads for a third of the CPM
Pierre Bouvard is Chief Insights Officer at CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One.
Contact the Insights team at CorpMarketing@westwoodone.com.