Association To Test Effectiveness of Radio Ads


    Imagine if you had actual data that showed how effective a well-produced radio ad was with your listeners? The Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters is partnering with Sensory Logic and Spot Q Services to test radio commercials for emotional engagement.

    Sensory Logic is a consumer engagement company that has worked with more than 50% of the world’s top 100 consumer brands. Spot Q Services President Jerry Lee was instrumental in developing Sensory Logic’s system to test and give feedback for Audio Commercials. The process will include step-by-step, feedback to help copywriters, agencies, and radio stations create advertising campaigns that generate a larger return-on-investment.

    “When I became the CEO of Jerry Lee’s WBEB-FM, one of our secret weapons was testing creative,” said Jim Loftus, CEO Seven Mountains Media. “Engaging commercials delivered results unlike anything that I’d ever worked with before. I encourage all PAB member radio stations to utilize this free service.”

    According to the National Ad Agency OMD, engaging audio commercials can produce up to 8 times the return-on-investment, compared to non-engaging commercials.  Emotionally engaging audio commercials are extremely powerful due to their ability to paint a personal picture in the mind of consumers.  Imagine an audio commercial for Thanksgiving dinner—each person hearing that commercial pictures their own family sitting around the table.  That ability is unique to audio. Effective audio commercials empower the consumer to relate one on one with a brand.

    The PAB is going to jump start audio testing on behalf of its members. The professional organization will initially pay for testing and feedback for 5 advertisers group member per market as a way to demonstrate the power of good commercials and how it will enhance their bottom line.


    1. I spent 45 years in radio and it doesn’t matter the market. Sometimes the worst sounding and most absurd ads get the most attention. If you want to help the advertiser, stop running more than 4 minutes at a time and jamming them all into one quarter hour. Also, the on-air announcer is responsible for keeping the listener tuned to the station for the break. If you lead into a break and they punch the button looking for more music, that’s on you. You created the music-only listener.

    2. Effective messaging always out preforms. However with eighteen 60 second units per hour, the odds of breaking through are greatly diminished.

      • That’s right. Radio messages are both a ‘quantity’ and a ‘quality’ problem.

        When stations are jamming each and every hour with as many spots as they think they can get away with, they are clueless. Even for me, as someone who works in the industry, hearing seemingly endless stop-sets gets very, very tedious — the quantity problem.

        And, again, even those of us who work in radio know that too many spots are just atrocious in their messaging and/or production value. Some spots make me just cringe…others tick me off, when I know the advertiser is peddling some variation on ‘snake oil’ — the quality and ‘content’ problem.

        We need a serious rethink on how we are handling the stop-sets…

        • You are right Robert, but it won’t happen. No way will debt-laden companies like iHeart or Entercom/Audacity give up revenue. So they will continue with the absurdly long stop sets, that just shaft the advertisers stuck in the middle of 18 commercials. Ridiculous. But the top corporate chiefs could absolutely care less about the advertiser’s results or lack thereof; they figure that there are more suckers lining up to buy.

          • Another pet peeve of mine, Roy.

            Remember when it was practically a sacrosanct rule that two advertisers in the same line of business — two competing car dealerships, for example — were NOT to have their spots scheduled back-to-back to each other?

            Stations break that however-informal rule all the time. If I was an advertiser, I would not be a happy camper!

    3. A study about the effectiveness of radio advertising is on its own merit a terrific idea! Having that study sponsored by a Broadcast Association is problematic though. … Outsiders including potential advertisers, might not take the study seriously, believing that it is a self-serving study sponsored by a broadcast association.


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