(By Bob McCurdy) Several weeks back, a noteworthy study was released that demonstrated the synergetic nature between AM/FM radio and TV. The study, conducted by Nielsen and commissioned by Westwood One, focused on a major motorcycle manufacturer’s NCAA basketball and NFL football radio and TV advertising campaign. The results are a powerful addition to our “why radio” quiver and can be found here.
Too often, we read about studies similar to this one, discuss them with clients for a couple of days and then move on to the next thing, but this study’s conclusions are worthy of a longer “shelf life” and should be discussed with key agencies and advertisers for a couple of reasons. First and most obviously is because of the positive metrics and the research company involved in generating them, but also because of the projectable marketing principles that positively impact all media-mix campaigns.
This Nielsen/Westwood One study confirms what we have long espoused: that there is considerable synergy between radio and TV as the key performance metrics of those exposed to the advertiser’s commercial messaging on radio and TV out-performed those exposed to only TV:
- Ad recall for this motorcycle nameplate was 58% higher among motorcycle owners exposed to its NFL radio and TV messaging versus those only exposed to its TV commercials.
- Those exposed to its NCAA basketball radio and TV’s messaging were 33% more inclined to visit its website than those only exposed to its TV commercials.
- Purchase intent increased 63% for those exposed to its NCAA basketball radio and TV messaging versus those exposed to only its TV messaging.
The NCAA basketball ad recall of those who had ever owned a motorcycle was almost double that of the two other demos measured, which was likely due to “selective perception.” Selective perception is a marketing phenomenon whereby consumers tend to pay more attention to products they currently use or have previously used. This is one reason why “challenger” products/services need to outspend established products/services.
The other marketing principles that also likely influenced this study’s results are:
- Complementary Effects/Synergy: When several media are involved in an ad campaign, the advertiser can profit from the strength of each medium. The combined effect of multiple marketing communication activities usually exceed the sum of their individual effects, as the same number of exposures in multiple media are more effective than the same number of exposures in a single medium.
- Multiple Source Credibility: Occurs when consumers exposed to commercial messaging in multiple media perceive each medium’s messaging as a somewhat independent source of information and therefore more credible and persuasive, i.e. “I heard this somewhere before so it must be true.”
- Encoding Variability: Depending on the medium, different “senses” are involved in the processing of its commercial messaging. Non-verbal and verbal media are processed using two different cognitive subsystems, one for sound only (audio) and one for nonverbal (pictures, motion) and when multiple media are involved, the messaging is processed in a more complex, enduring fashion.
- Forward encoding or “priming”: Priming also likely played a role in the study’s positive results. Priming contends that exposure to an advertisement in one medium often stimulates interest and curiosity in subsequent advertisement exposures in other media, i.e. one medium “primes” interest in the ad experienced in a second.
The bottom line is that understanding these marketing principles not only enhances credibility and the credibility of the results, but also enables us to better communicate the “why” behind the data and engage in deeper, more effective discussions regarding the benefits of any media mix that includes or should include radio.
Bob McCurdy is The Vice President of Sales for The Beasley Media Group and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org