I write and sell radio commercials for a living, so maybe I listen a bit differently than you do. I love powerful, well written commercials–I raise the volume when they come on! Arbitron just conducted a major study about how long listeners stay through commercials. Guess what? Radio keeps 93% of its lead in audience during an average break! This was groundbreaking because the perception for years has been that a radio station loses more than 50% of its audience after the first spot.
…”The new study, using data from 18 million commercial breaks, 62 million minutes of commercials and 866 stations for a year, showed, among other findings, that one- to three-minute commercial breaks deliver audience levels “practically the same as the lead-in audience”; Longer spot breaks of four to six minutes-plus delivered an average minute audience nearly 90 percent of the lead-in audience; Commercial breaks in morning drive deliver 97 percent of their lead-in audience; and among teens and persons 18-24, radio delivers nearly 90 percent of its lead-in audience during commercial breaks, while among people age 65+, radio delivers 98 percent of the lead-in audience during the stop sets….”
These numbers represent “average” commercials and stop sets. When you factor in more creative commercials the lead in audience is even higher. The real problem with radio commercials is radio. As an industry we write crappy, clichéd, uninspired drivel, that you have a heard a thousand times. If the average station can keep 93% of its audience with most of the junk I hear, can you imagine what we could do with some powerful, compelling creative?
Radio commercials need to paint mental pictures…pierce the heart…create emotions…offer something compelling…
Nothing is quite as powerful as the spoken word…All commercials all the time! (Hey, it worked for Christmas music)