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Minus the pictures, radio sells with TV ads.

 

From selling sausage to green beans and fabric softener, this week’s Advertising Research Foundation conference focusing on media measurement delivered a raft of studies showcasing radio advertising’s ability to connect with consumers.  In a follow-up to an earlier “Eye vs. Ear” study done late last year, Katz Marketing Solutions reaffirmed that TV spots minus the pictures can make for powerful radio ads.

Katz tested 10 packaged goods products that appeal to 25-54 year old moms — brands such as Johnson’s Baby Lotion, Green Giant, Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes and Snuggle.  Most spent little or nothing in radio.   The goal was to demonstrate that even without pictures, moms recognize the brands just by audio cues.   Nearly all moms picked up on Olive Garden, Progressive and Frosted Flakes — “they’re great!” as Tony the Tiger would say — but other brands did well too.

Without any pictures, 68% identified a Johnson’s Baby spot — not just from the baby noises, but keywords like “moisture” and “lotion” and the happy, warm and nostalgic feeling of the ad.  For Snuggle, 79% pegged the brand – mostly on the bear mascot’s voice.  And Green Giant’s “ho ho ho” was a slam dunk for many moms — 80% identified the brand without any mention of the iconic green-tinted man on the box.

Overall, for the 10 products tested, the group of moms was able to name the brand just by the TV ad’s audio track 77% of the time.   “There is a tremendous amount of audio brand equity that is recognized,” Katz Marketing Solutions president Bob McCurdy says.

The message from Katz to advertisers is they can build the frequency of TV ads by moving dollars to radio, and save some money in the process.  McCurdy says Katz has been sharing the data with the various brand managers, who seem receptive to the research.  But changing buying habits doesn’t happen overnight.  “If they’re not using radio already, it takes a while,” McCurdy says.


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