Radio advertisers can learn a lot by understanding what frightens radio station programming managers the most, says Jason Brownlee. He should know. He’s tested the effectiveness of more than 400 radio case studies on RadioGAUGE…
In my experience, *the* most terrifying thing a Programming Manager has to contemplate is changing the presenter of his breakfast show. It’s no secret that listeners become very attached to their favourite DJs who weave themselves into the routine of daily life and become like real friends.
The second thing would be putting new music onto their playlist. People don’t like songs they don’t recognise and have been known to switch off from a station playing something unfamiliar and cruise around the dial until they hear a song they know and like.
Interestingly, the top 25% of radio ads in terms of creative effectiveness, as measured by RadioGAUGE, were on average 13% better at generating brand campaign awareness than the bottom 25% of ads. Top-performing campaigns often exhibited common attributes such as long standing creative strategies, familiar jingles, recognisable voices, regular characters and consistent story lines.
What am I saying then?
Here are three things, my points above prove;
1. Personalities need familiarity to be successful on the radio – presenters need to develop a rapport with an audience that, over time, will come to embrace them.
2. Music needs familiarity to be successful on the radio – as a song begins to break its way into awareness it builds familiarity within the minds of listeners, who will eventually take it to heart.
3. Commercials need familiarity to be successful on the radio – advertisers need to develop creative themes or templates that express the personality of their brand on the radio and commit to them over a long period of time.
Bottom line; building familiarity on the radio is crucial for any presenter, song or band that wants to cut through into audience consciousness and be taken into the hearts and minds of listeners. Brands that ‘find their voice’ on the radio build the strongest relationships with listeners, which invariably delivers the best ROI from the medium.
Development Director, RadioGAUGE International
We all want cutting edge campaigns, but we need to know that they’re going to be successful. RadioGAUGE founder Jason Brownlee not only talks radio’s accountability, he’s bringing sexy back into radio advertising effectiveness…
As the old adage suggests, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, or in this case, an ad campaign is only as good as its results. This begs for sound research that helps advertisers improve the effectiveness of the radio element of their campaign.
Enter RadioGAUGE, which, having been initiated by the RAB UK, is designed to help a broad range of radio advertisers understand the specific effects achieved as a result of their radio advertising campaigns, and how to improve this effectiveness.
Dollywagon Media Sciences Director and the brains behind RadioGAUGE, Jason Brownlee explains that this ground-breaking radio advertising effectiveness measurement tool was born out of a realisation in 2005 that UK advertisers were ‘falling out of bed with radio’.
Drawing on from this belief, Brownlee developed RadioGAUGE, which has, since its inception, taken radio from a 2% to a 7% revenue share medium in a really tough UK market;
“We realised that if we could grow our share of the advertising cake, everyone could get a piece. We’re convinced after successfully evaluating more than 400 radio campaigns, that no other radio effectiveness study has achieved quite the same impact”.
Research studies are by nature a costly affair, however, the beauty of RadioGAUGE, as Brownlee explains is that it writes its own cheques; “There’s simply no catch. RadioGAUGE has been brought to South Africa by the RAB SA. The project is funded by the RAB and is aimed at growing radio revenue. Considering that it is valued at R300 000 per advertiser, a valid question might be – why for free?
“It’s simple. The RAB pays for it, so you don’t have to. That’s because every rand spent in qualifying the strength of a radio campaign means advertisers will continue to see value in investing in the medium, helping to grow radio revenue”, he says.
Method in the madness
“The objectives for RadioGAUGE are simple enough; measure any campaign/ category for any kind of advertiser, including the evaluation of creativity. We want to make every ad a little bit better, so we test via a survey, interrogate the data, and then put together a confidential report for the client”, he adds.
Managing to put the sexy back into data, Brownlee took guests through the methodology graphs with candour, his particular brand of British humour not lost on the afternoon workshop crowd;
“This measurement tool isolates radio’s effectiveness by surveying people who’ve been exposed to all elements of the campaign including the radio element against those who’ve been exposed to all media elements of the campaign except the radio element i.e. people who don’t listen to the radio stations that the campaign flighted across. The campaign can also be tested against any other campaign ever tested on RadioGAUGE. The learnings from this are immense as clients now understand that you can put lipstick on pig and make your campaign a bit better”, he concludes.
Some Learnings from more than 400 campaigns tested…
ü RadioGAUGE asks listeners about involvement e.g. whether the voice of a certain DJ or voice talent can have an impact on the success of your ad. Take Luci Hirsch for an example; she’s been advertising on radio for 7 years. Some people hate her, some love her – we can test which it is. Generally, consistency pays.
ü It will also show you the effects of cramming too much information into an ad. We’ve found that single message ads are far more effective than a shopping list of information.
ü RadioGAUGE demonstrates the power of integration. Radio campaigns are hardly ever created in isolation. They have other media elements attached to them. Brand heritage has been created. If you’re not reflecting the creative activity taking place across your other media messages, in your radio ads, you’re killing yourself. Radio works best when it takes cognisance of the other elements in your campaign.
ü There is a link between ads with great creative and advertising performance. The 25 most successful campaigns had the best creativity.
ü 60% of successful campaigns kept the creative theme/ element consistent. Bottom line: Stick to a good idea. If you use music in your TV ad, use the same music or voice talent in your radio ads.
ü Why are so many radio ads ineffective? The answer lies in the use of a robotic ‘not going to offend anyone’ voice. The use of a neutral voice in an ad is associated with only 8% success in an ad.
ü Cut out compliance (if you can!) Campaigns that don’t include any ‘Terms and Conditions’ are more than 25% more effective than ads that do.
RadioGAUGE is making a massive difference to the way radio revenue is growing in the UK by helping advertisers to improve the effectiveness of their radio campaigns, and it can do the same here! The good news is that since the RadioWorks 2011 Conference, we’ve had a significant number of enquiries and uptake of clients wanting to be tested. What are you waiting for? For more info on RadioGAUGE, contact Gilda on 011 325 4945 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Our recently appointed GM, Gilda De Araujo has expanded our RadioGAUGE study to six advertisers this year! This is your opportunity to refine the radio element of your campaign through a tried and tested, confidential and highly relevant effectiveness study…
o Would you like to improve the results you’re getting from radio?
o Is the radio element of your campaign to the value of R1-million or more?
o Are you targeting LSM 6-10?
o Want to find out if your creative message is making the right impact?
The RAB is offering 6 advertisers R300 000 worth of free research, to have the effectivenessof your radio campaign measured. Gratis. Free. Seriously – no charge.
If you’ve ticked all the boxes above, e-mail email@example.com to book an introductory presentation, and find out how RADIOGAUGE can improve your results on radio.