This July 24th article in Media Life asks, “What’s behind Radio ad spending gains?”
Could it be that advertisers are finding the glitter on the shiny new media is not yielding gold? Businesses that have built strong brands with broadcast media, don’t lose those brands the instant they cut their broadcast. For a period of time, ‘cheaper’ digital can coast on the coat tails of the success broadcast has built for advertisers, but we all know that the only way to coast is down hill.
What’s Behind Radio Ad Spending Gains?
Up 5 percent in first quarter, led by fast food, telecom and auto
By Bill Cromwell
McDonald’s is one of the top fast food spenders on radio.
Spot radio spending was up 5 percent in first quarter, according to Kantar Media.
This is a bit surprising, considering how badly other traditional media struggled during that same span. TV, magazines and newspapers were all down.
Radio has been getting strong spending from three major ad categories that have helped lift the medium to start the year, following a down 2014 when spot radio declined by 5.1 percent.
Fast food, auto and telecom have all been strong to start the year.
“I think for the most part it is the tried and true advertisers that keep the medium afloat and allows stations to be creative with other advertisers because they’ve got that base laid in,” says Lisa Garofolo, director of broadcast at Empower MediaMarketing.
After an 11 percent decline last year for the restaurant category in radio, fast food has been more active during the first half of the year.
Buyers say this is in part to complement dollars spent on TV, since radio and TV work well in tandem for fast food restaurants.
“Radio is a nice complement to the video portion of a campaign,” Garofolo says.
“It’s great to see a McDonald’s commercial at 10 p.m. on Wednesday night, but if you want someone to have a McCafe on Thursday morning, you have to follow up [while they’re in the car].”
McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts remain the top advertisers in the category.
Automotive has spent consistently on spot radio the past few years, Garofolo says, following a big decline in 2009 and 2010 with the recession.
The Toyota Dealer Association has been driving much of that spending, ranking No. 7 overall among radio advertisers last year, according to the Radio Advertising Bureau.
Honda and Ford’s dealer association are also active.
Finally, telecom has been hot across a number of media to start the year, including radio.
Overall ad spending on the category rose 3.8 percent in first quarter, according to Kantar, and buyers say wireless companies have been especially bullish on radio