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High-target audience key draw for luxury branded radio ads

August 22, 2011



Radio's mass appeal and wide audience still makes it an effective medium for luxury marketers, particularly high-end automakers.

The medium often reaches consumers when they are out and about and quite possibly on their way to make a purchase. In addition, radio offers numerous targeting options through the various radio platforms and channel segments.

“I think it can be effective [but] it’s a bit more challenging because luxury is much more about visual." said Greg Angland, senior vice president and director of account management at Blitz Media, Waltham, MA. "But as an active forum, it can still be effective for automotive, jewelry and home entertainment.

“[Additionally], radio allows brands to target fairly tightly the type of person they are looking for,” he said. “So, they should buy those stations and buy them well before moving to others.”

High waves

The ability to highly-target radio ads is one of the main benefits of radio advertising.

According to the Radio Advertising Bureau, over the course of three months, all-news radio stations reach 257 million consumers whose homes are valued at more than $500,000. 

In addition, classical radio stations reach 250 million consumers whose personally owned securities value $150,000 or more.

The opportunity of success is even higher for automotive brands which implement radio advertising.

For example, radio each week reaches 92 percent of adults whose household plans include buying a new luxury vehicle in the upcoming year.

Additionally, radio reaches 142 million consumers during three months who own or lease a vehicle that is worth more than $50,000.

Radio advertising offers even more targeting options through location, allowing brands to drive consumers directly to their local stores.

Drive time

Car manufacturers such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz have been using radio for a variety of campaigns in the last year.

For example, BMW used radio ads to further drive home its “Don’t Text and Drive” campaign.

In addition, Mercedes-Benz used a series of radio bi-spots to invite the general public to attend a dealership on March 26 to discover the new-generation C-Class.

Radio also capitalizes on the “theater of the mind,” which no other advertising platform can offer.

By entering car sound effects, the commercial can grab people’s attention and allow them to envision themselves using the product, according to Mr. Angland.

In addition, sound effects are a huge pull for the automotive industry online (see story). 

The array of options that technology now offers such as Pandora and satellite radio can also immensely increase the reach and success of radio ads.

Pandora can allow users to click right thorough a banner ad that is drawn to their attention through the audio ad and be brought directly to a brand’s social media or Web site.

In addition, satellite radio offers an even higher ability to target different audiences given that satellite radio is not free like traditional radio and most of the listeners are likely affluent consumers.

One of the problems is that radio advertising can be hard to measure, so brands need to take a much broader view to measure the success of radio campaigns.

“All offline will drive online activity,” Mr. Angland said. “[With radio], brands need to look at search traffic and site page traffic.

“Brands need to look at things holistically, because people shop and think about the purchase process much more differently than they used to," he said. "You need to look at every piece of data combined."

Final Take

Kayla Hutzler, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York