Nielsen Media Impact, the planning and optimization tool for brands and agencies, reveals that putting AM/FM radio into the media plan generates significant lift in reach. Time and time again media mix analyses prove that AM/FM radio makes your TV better.
AM/FM radio adds incremental reach to media plans
To illustrate, here is a case study with two approaches. The media plan on the left represents a typical mix of 68% linear TV, 20% digital, and 13% connected TV. That plan achieves a 57% reach.
The media plan on the right, with the exact same budget, keeps linear TV, digital, and connected TV in the plan and allocates 10% of spend to AM/FM radio. This plan generates an astounding 80% reach. The same budget yields much bigger reach. Putting AM/FM radio into the plan at a modest 10% allocation lifts reach by an impressive +41%.
AM/FM radio elevates the media plan
The addition of AM/FM radio not only increases total reach but it also lifts cross-media exposure. In the first plan with just video and digital, 9% were reached by two or more media types. The second plan with AM/FM radio saw cross-media reach increase nearly fourfold from 9% to 35%. The addition of AM/FM radio truly elevates the media plan with the same budget.
What if the TV budget is put into AM/FM radio?
Still, it is not often that a brand substitutes AM/FM radio for TV. A major financial brand that is typically a big user of television elected to replace its usual TV buy for AM/FM radio in Q4 2020.
Via Nielsen Media Impact, the two approaches were analyzed – the December 2019 TV campaign (the grey bar below) without AM/FM radio versus the December 2020 AM/FM radio campaign without TV (the blue bar).
The difference in reach is stunning. The December 2019 TV campaign generated a 45% reach. The December 2020 AM/FM radio campaign achieved an 83% reach, nearly double the TV buy. AM/FM radio generated nearly double the reach for a quarter of the budget.
The younger the demographic, the greater the reach generated by AM/FM radio
The AM/FM radio plan generates strong and consistent reach across every age cell. The TV plan reach grows with older age groups. Versus TV, AM/FM radio generates +42% greater reach among persons 45-54, +82% greater reach among persons 35-44, and a +163% increase in reach among persons 25-34.
AM/FM radio generates impressions evenly across demographics while TV impressions skew 55+
Nielsen Media Impact examined the share of impressions by demographic of the two campaigns. The AM/FM radio plan generates impressions evenly across all age groups. The TV plan skews very old.
The AM/FM radio plan generated 27% of its impressions from persons 18-34, 39% from persons 35-54, and 34% from persons 55+. Most of the TV impressions (59%) came from persons 55+.
The AM/FM radio campaign worked as brand awareness grew among heavy AM/FM radio listeners
During Q4 2020, the Harris Poll’s always-on brand tracking platform found familiarity with the financial brand grew among heavy AM/FM radio listeners, those with the greatest opportunity to hear the AM/FM radio campaign.
The AM/FM radio campaign lifted brand perceptions +21% for the financial firm
As the AM/FM radio campaign progressed, brand perceptions for the financial firm grew among heavy AM/FM radio listeners. During the fall, quality brand perceptions of the financial firm grew +21% from 39% in October to 47% in December.
The AM/FM radio campaign accomplished the primary objective of advertising which is to “be known before you are needed.” According to Jenni Romaniuk from the prestigious Ehrenberg Bass Institute for Marketing Science, “Humans might be made from stardust, but brands are made by memories. Advertising is just a broad name for company-controlled creative activity (in any media) aimed at shaping buyer memories in the brand’s future favour. A buyer’s memory is one of the most efficient sources of information (even for a google search you need to remember what to type). Advertising can freshen memories for a specific brand, to make the brand easier to retrieve. Andrew Ehrenberg called this role of advertising Creative Publicity – a way to publicise the brand, remind people of what it does and when to buy it, and on occasion, share some new news such as informing about a new variant launched.”
- AM/FM radio adds incremental reach to media plans
- AM/FM radio elevates the media plan
- A major financial services firm moved their TV budget to AM/FM radio and campaign reach doubled
- The younger the demographic, the greater the incremental reach generated by AM/FM radio
- AM/FM radio generates impressions evenly across demographics while TV impressions skew 55+
- The AM/FM radio campaign worked as brand awareness and brand perceptions grew among heavy AM/FM radio listeners
Pierre Bouvard is Chief Insights Officer at CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One.
Contact the Insights team at CorpMarketing@westwoodone.com.