Radio can play a highly effective role for advertisers either on its own or alongside other media. Here we review how advertisers use radio as part of a wider media combination to enhance overall campaign performance.

Radio and television

Radio and television offer a powerful and much used media combination.

The two media share many common strengths: both are widely consumed on a daily basis, accounting for a high share of the average consumer’s media day, and as real-time media they are both effective at reaching out to new customers and emotionally engaging them with an advertised brand. Radio is often used to broaden the impact of a TV campaign, exploiting strong audio brand cues to readily bring the brand to mind (triggering visual recall of the TV commercial) across the day and in doing so extending overall campaign reach and effectiveness. The Radio Multiplier Study conducted by Millward Brown and the US RAEL ‘Benefits of Synergy’ study both demonstrate the effect of diverting TV budgets into radio. See also the Heinz case study ‘Using radio’s emotional influence to re-engage consumers with a much-loved brand’.

Radio and online

Radio and online is a potent media mix. The real-time linear nature of radio strongly complements the on-demand nature of online media. With low levels of ad avoidance, radio excels at reaching out and spreading awareness of brands amongst all consumers regardless of their existing level of interest in a brand, and the internet is highly effective in allowing consumers to pursue their interest in a product or service, up to and including the point of purchase. 16% of time listened to radio is accompanied by being online (Touchpoints 2017) which enables listeners to respond online almost instantaneously to something they’ve heard on-air, as identified in Radio: the Online Multiplier study.

Radio and newspapers

Radio and newspapers have complementary strengths. While radio plays a role as a broadcast “outreach” medium, establishing presence for a brand, newspapers consolidate that contact by providing more detail about an offer or service. The linear nature of radio means that messages can be timed to reach people when they are likely to have greatest impact. In this way, radio is proven to be an effective driver of awareness when used in addition to newspapers. The US RAEL ‘Benefits of Synergy’ Study reveals the effect of reallocating newspaper impacts into radio.

Radio and outdoor

Radio and outdoor can be an influential media pairing. The two media share a lot of characteristics – both tend to be consumed whilst doing other things and are able to reach people in a variety of mind sets in and out of home. Radio can provide the brand voice to the brand image displayed on outdoor. The rise of digital poster formats is creating new opportunities for cross-fertilisation of messaging, for example Lucozade, the energy drink, synchronised digital outdoor ads to run at the same time as radio commercials playing out on-air to enhance cut-through with car drivers.

Radio and Cinema

While radio and cinema are at a first glance quite different, their strengths are highly complementary. Both media exert strong emotional influence over their audiences (info on radio here) on behalf of advertisers and both enjoy the lowest levels of active ad avoidance of any media. While cinema predominantly delivers irregular but deeply powerful communication on behalf of advertisers to smaller but highly valuable audiences, radio plays a role as a broadcast “high outreach” medium, able to enhance advertising effectiveness/build mental availability by reaching people across a range of occasions and locations.

Radio as lead medium

Radio can be an effective lead medium. Sound is an underused but powerful emotional influencer. With lower entry costs than TV, radio can help smaller brands reach and build an emotional connection with a wide audience. Listeners spend a large proportion of their media time with commercial radio (on average c. 2 hours per day) which presents radio advertisers with an opportunity to build share of mind quickly. Because radio is used to accompany a range of tasks and activities, it can be used to speak to consumers at relevant moments for the brand. When radio is used as a lead medium it is often used to direct people online for further information and/or purchase, as illustrated in the Autoglass case studies

Radiogauge Learning

Aggregated data from over 750 campaigns measured on Radiogauge reveals the impact of radio advertising on awareness, brand relevance, trust and consideration either when used as a lead medium or within a wider media mix