Westwood One

How Radio Personality Live Reads Increase Results by 40%

We’ve received this question from a client or prospect many times: how can we get measurable direct response on the radio?

The answer: radio personalities. According to Nielsen, personality endorsements increase listener interest in advertising by 44%. And a study by the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism found that 51% of respondents considered or purchased a product advertised during their favorite radio show.

Consumers Trust Radio Personalities


Source: Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism

I recently attended the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) conference, and at lunch I sat down to Sam Meers, who has an ad agency in Kansas City called Meers Advertising. Blue Cross Blue Shield is a big client of his. Blue Cross is targeting Millennials to get more information on purchasing insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

The challenge they faced: Millennials aren’t interested in health insurance, and also won’t call a 1-800 number when prompted.

Meers created a measurable solution by combining live endorsements with a texting application. A radio personality would do a live call to action, driving listeners to text for more information. After texting, listeners would receive a prompt on their phones to answer four questions, leading to an instant quote.

The live reads are what truly made the difference to drive the response — out-performing all of the other ads on the radio.

Live Reads Out-performed Pre-recorded Spots by 40%

 Source: Meers Advertising

Why Personality Endorsements Work

Sam Meers summarized why the campaign worked so well on the radio, as opposed to TV:

The Blue Cross story further emphasizes how endorsement radio produces direct ROI. 

Pierre Bouvard is Chief Marketing Officer of Cumulus Media | Westwood One.