Radio Advertising Facts

Is your marketing person dazzled by shiny new objects like social media?  If so, you need to watch this:



Pepsi substantially abandoned its long-standing commitment to traditional advertising in favor of social media. It canceled its annual Super Bowl advertising. It diverted tens of millions of dollars from traditional advertising to create the “Pepsi Refresh Project.” Pepsi Refresh was an online social media initiative in which Pepsi gave out 20 million dollars. They also spent many millions more in support of this initiative.

After making this transition from traditional to digital, the current fad in advertising, the results came in:  “The results are now in. It has been a disaster.   Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Pepsi-Cola and Diet Pepsi had each lost about 5% of their market share in the past year.  If my calculations are correct, for the Pepsi-Cola brand alone this represents a loss of over $350 million. For both brands, the loss is probably something in the neighborhood of 400 million to half-a-billion dollars.  For the first time ever Pepsi-Cola has dropped from its traditional position as the number two soft drink in America to number three (behind Diet Coke.)”

These are excerpts from the article, which you can view in full here:

As marketers we all understand the need for branding, however, we also need to invite people to do business with us on a daily basis.  A delicate balance between brand marketing and call to action advertising is critical to grow our businesses.  Each year the average attrition rate for customer loss for any business is 20%.  Therefore, in order to just maintain market share we need to grow current customer tickets or generate new customers to the tune of 20%.  For growth, we have to exceed that.

As you review your advertising budgets, consider the mistake of Pepsi.  Traditional advertising is here to stay, but connecting your traditional with your digital advertising has never been more important.



Compliments of Lenawee Broadcasting Company


Radio advertising might be seen as old fashioned especially with the rise of the Internet and other types of media and that their audience has decreased. This is not the case however. Commercial radio has a reach of more than 16 million Australians every week. 17 hours of the week are spent listening to the radio with the majority of it at home (49%) and in the car (32%). Below lists out a few benefits for advertising with radio:

Selective Targeting:

Radio station already targets specific demographics and market segments. Therefore by choosing which station to broadcast with, you can lock into your potential customers and increase the frequency of delivering your message. At the same time think about all the advantages and disadvantages of radio advertising in your selected radio station and see if that’s what you are looking for,

Increased frequency:

Advertising works with frequency and reaching your audience repeatedly. Radio is the perfect medium for this, being able to expose your ad to the audience repeatedly to build awareness. Also due to the loyalty of people listening to the same station, you are able to impact the same people more often.

More memorable:

Compared to written advertisement, sound is more effectively stored in memory. In addition, there is the ability to instill emotion and also allows listeners to use their imagination to create their own image of the product/service.

Cost effective:

Radio advertising have significantly less costs compared to other types of media. Television and print ads can go up to hundreds of thousands including costs for video equipment, studio time, actors, models. Radios ads require less resources while being able to reach the same target audience that a television spot would of resulted in.

Time efficiency:

Lead times with print and television ads can be very long, especially with planning and may take up to a year for the ad to run. In contrast, producing a radio spot can occur between two to three weeks. Another advantage of this is the ability to adapt and react quickly to changing market conditions.

Measurable results:

You can track results quickly and accurately compared to television where it may take months for measurable results or print media which can be even more difficult to track. Results for radio ads can be analysed on a daily basis, and if the message is not working in a week or two, a new radio spot can replace it efficiently as mentioned above.

With the widespread access people have to radio, even indirectly through shopping centers and supermarkets, radio continues to have a big presence in the advertising industry. Small businesses should continue to consider it as a top medium to advertise their product/services as the advantages over other resources remain strong.


Courtesy of




In the world of bad advertising clichés, none are cliché-ier than “For All Your (blank) Needs.”

By Ryan Patrick,

Just listen to commercial radio for one hour. Read a newspaper from front to back. Watch local TV commercials during the 6 o’clock news. I can almost guarantee you will hear/read/see the phrase “For All Your (blank) Needs” at least once. Maybe more.

“Wait. If that phrase is so bad, why do so many companies use it?”

a) It’s safe

b) It’s easy to use

c) The ad writer had nothing else to say.

Nothing particularly special about your lumberyard? No problem!  Just use, “For all your homebuilding needs!”

Can’t compete with the price or selection of the other pet store? Easy fix: “For all your pet supply needs!”

My favorite was a radio commercial for a diner in Kentucky that advertised “for all your breakfast needs.”

“Yes, I want you to smother my pancakes with beluga caviar and truffles. What do you mean you can’t do it? That’s my breakfast need!”

Each of us has different needs.

Mine are different from yours.

Yours are different from his.

His are different from hers.

There will ALWAYS be needs that you simply cannot meet.

“For All Your (blank) Needs” is an empty promise. It doesn’t convey the unique essence of your business.  It won’t convince consumers to buy from you.

Congratulations. You have a marketing slogan that says nothing.

Is that what your business “needs”?

(Used by permission,

Click HERE for the main article on clichés.


Still spending money on ads in the yellow pages? Really?  It’s not 1982 any more.






What’s the best medium for local advertising? According to Michael Corbett, author of “The 33 Ruthless Rules of Local Advertising”, it’s NOT the newspaper. According to Corbett, “the readers of most newspapers are middle aged and older. If you are looking for buyers under the age of forty, you’ll find fewer of them in the newspaper than in any other media.” Corbett says that newspapers are “a place for shoppers to compare prices and information after they’ve already been motivated to buy.”

Why then do many local business continue to spend the bulk of their advertising budget in the newspaper? According to Corbett, “he newspaper has been the traditional medium for many local businesses. For centuries, it was the only medium. But most consumers don’t rely on the newspaper as much as they once did. They get their motivation and information from many sources. The readership ages have changed; buying habits and priorities have changed; media choices have changed. The only thing that hasn’t seem to change is the tradition of thinking that the newspaper is still the motivation source for most consumers. It clearly is not. That role has been taken over by TV and radio, either of which consumers spend more time with than they do newspapers.”

Corbett concluded by saying, “newspapers, in my experience, are neither appropriate nor affordable as your primary vehicle for domination or impact.”

So, where do you advertise to get the most impact? Corbett suggests one of the two “motivational mediums”, radio or broadcast TV (not cable). Corbett also suggests you “dominate” a medium in order to achieve maximum effectiveness. Since most local advertisers cannot afford to dominate TV, the logical choice is radio.

Quoted from “The 33 Ruthless Rules of Local Advertising”
by Michael Corbett
Pinnacle Books, Inc


Even though competitors like to portray radio as an aging technology, the reality is radio advertising remains an effective tool for reaching consumers in today’s fragmented media landscape. Extensive research by the Radio Advertising Bureau reveals a robust weekly audience of radio listeners.

Who’s Listening?
Over 92 percent of Americans age 12 and up listen to radio each week, creating an audience of over 235 million listeners. Among 12- to 17-year-olds, who are perceived as not listening to the radio, nearly 90 percent listen weekly.

Where Do They Listen?
The majority of radio listening occurs in cars, with 73 percent of adults age 18 and up listening while driving on a typical weekday. The second most popular location for listening is at home. The number of people listening to commercial radio online now includes nearly 20 percent of the people who listen each week.

What Are They Listening To?
There are over 10,000 commercial radio stations in the United States. There are more country music stations in America than any other type with over 2,000 outlets. News/talk is second with 1,375 stations.

Who’s Advertising?
Major brands such as Verizon, Home Depot, Walt Disney and Burger King are among the top 20 largest radio advertisers. The largest advertising categories for radio include retail, automotive, insurance, restaurants and financial institutions.

How Much Do They Spend?
Radio advertising revenue exceeded $19 billion in 2008, and over $13 billion came from local businesses.

Article written by Mike Stern.


Here are some concepts to keep in mind as you plan your Radio advertising:

  • Feature one item, or a limited number, per commercial to insure listener remembrance. You can’t sell ten items in thirty seconds.
  • If you must use price, use one or a few only. This way you won’t confuse the listener.
  • Is a phone number necessary? If it can’t get an order or sell a customer, and if you can’t make it the centerpiece of the ad, don’t use it.
  • Spend a reasonable amount of money. Don’t expect good results unless you invest appropriately.
  • Use saturation for hard-hitting impact. You can’t get the job done with one spot. Repetition – frequency – is one of radio’s biggest persuaders.
  • Distinction is an effective tool for attracting people. That sound effect, theme music or “sound signature” will help your ads make an impression.
  • Don’t select radio programs or formats for your own personal likes or dislikes, but rather for the audience you want to reach.
  • The best use of radio advertising is day in, day out, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. The results from radio advertising build over time, and they are lasting results.
  • Don’t try to reach too many people all at once. It is better to reach 10% of your prospects 100% of the way than to reach 100% of your prospects only 10% of the way.