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(By Bob McCurdy) One of our markets has been working hard with an exclusive TV advertiser (a well-known law firm) to convince them that a mix of media would deliver a greater bang for their ad dollar, in general, but also due to the sheer magnitude of their TV GRP weight.

A considerable amount of research has been forwarded and reviewed with this firm, with limited impact, and we’ve not been successful in securing a radio commitment — thus far.

So we decided to go a different route. We surmised that this firm’s TV advertising, due to its sheer volume, generated a tremendous amount of “audio” equity, which is often the byproduct of any extensive television investment. To test this hypothesis we posted a de-branded 30-second audio clip of this firm’s television commercial on our station websites, offering respondents the opportunity to win several free dinners for two, in return for only answering a couple of questions after “listening” to the firm’s TV commercial:

– Who is this advertisement for?

– How did you feel when you heard this?

252 listeners responded.

The results confirmed what we believed would be the case. Over half of the respondents correctly identified the advertiser after being exposed to only the audio of one of their many television commercials.

Amongst those who correctly identified the law firm, respondent comments also confirmed that the audio of the TV commercial was quite capable of communicating a message beyond correct advertiser identification.

The responses below are to the question, “How did you feel when you heard this?”

– At ease, secure and protected. (Male, 63)

– I feel that they are trustworthy and I would feel comfortable calling them. (Female, 49)

– Trustworthy. (Male, 49)

– Glad we have them on our side. (Male, 43)

– All warm and fuzzy. (Male, 55)

– Like I’m watching commercials on Fox 5 in the morning (Imagery Transfer). (Female 53)

– It’s great to have a local law firm looking out for us. (Male, 62)

– Like family. (Female, 52)

– Comforted. (Female, 42)

– That he can be trusted. (Female, 47)

– Trusted good guys. (Female, 33)

– Like I am watching TV. (Imagery Transfer) (Female, 40)

– I can trust them. (Female, 64)

Some of the negative comments supported our point of diminishing returns due to TV overkill:

– Annoyed! (Female, 19)

– I can’t turn on the TV without seeing this guy. (Male, 39)

– Extremely annoyed!!! (Female, 60)

– Annoyed. (Male, 32)

– Saw their ads a thousand times before. (Male, 20)

– Annoyed!! (Male, 62)

– I see these people in my sleep. Enough! (Male, 46)

These findings were not all that surprising. We saw the same phenomenon at work in 2013 when Katz conducted an “Ear vs Eye” study that produced similar results. You can find the article summarizing the study here and if you want to review the study itself, there’s a link at the end of the 2013 article that will take you to the entire study.

Many successful TV campaigns generate sufficient exposure, such that the narrator’s voice, the music in the commercial, the tagline, or the verbiage is all that is required to trigger extensive brand messaging. Such is the case with this law firm who is in the position to easily leverage their messaging on radio, reach the lightest quintile of TV viewers in this market who average only 5 minutes of TV viewing daily (they listen to the radio 110 minutes/day), and actually utilize radio to make their TV ad spend more effective.

Bob McCurdy is Vice President of Sales for the Beasley Media Group.
This article was previously featured in Radio Ink

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