Capture Consumer Spending This Holiday Season With AM/FM Radio

November 19, 2018 By Lauren Vetrano

Thanksgiving is here and with it, the kickoff of the biggest shopping season of the year. Advertisers know consumers are going to flock to stores and e-commerce sites to buy gifts. The trick is to make sure the consumers are going to think of their brands and stores when they shop.

According to a study Westwood One commissioned this year with MARU/Vision Critical, more than half (52%) of consumers are planning to shop for holiday gifts during the busy Thanksgiving weekend. 47% buy on Black Friday and nearly half of consumers will hit the stores on Cyber Monday. For advertisers, that’s a lot of money up for grabs.

To fill shopping carts, fill the AM/FM radio airwaves

AM/FM radio is highly effective at reaching these potential customers during the holidays. AM/FM radio reaches 93% of adults during Thanksgiving week, according to Nielsen.

AM/FM radio reaches consumers on the path to purchase

AM/FM radio is an on-the-go medium, reaching consumers close to the point of purchase. Most radio listening happens away from home. Advertisers who invest in AM/FM radio are reaching consumers at a critical time when purchase decisions are made.

Americans travel to and from stores and are in their cars to visit loved ones during the holidays. This is good news for advertisers. A study from RealityMine’s USA TouchPoints shows on a weekly basis, 53% of Americans 18-64 have been in a store and their car in the same half-hour.

When consumers are in their cars during these peak travel periods, 86% of ad-supported audio time spent goes to AM/FM radio, according to the latest Q3 2018 Share of Ear from Edison Research. Shoppers hear AM/FM radio commercials that influence the stores they visit and brands they buy.

AM/FM radio drives store traffic

A recent study from the Radio Advertising Bureau and Dial Report shows that across categories, there was substantial store traffic lift among those who were exposed to AM/FM radio campaigns.

Home improvement retailers saw a 7% lift in store traffic. Quick service restaurants saw a 23% lift – something to keep in mind as these restaurants look to target hungry shoppers needing a midday pick-me-up! Beauty retailers and car dealers saw the greatest lift of 32% each. AM/FM radio brings customers to the register.

AM/FM radio has a proven track record for retail

According to multiple Nielsen return on advertising investment studies, AM/FM radio generates an average of $16 of retail sales for every $1 of radio advertising.

Of course, the holidays aren’t just about shopping – but it does represent a big part of the tradition for many Americans. Advertisers can tap massive audiences and see impressive ROI from AM/FM radio, a medium that is as part of the holiday for many as stuffing and cranberry sauce.

Key takeaways:

  • To fill shopping carts, fill the AM/FM radio airwaves: AM/FM radio reaches 93% of Americans during Thanksgiving week
  • AM/FM radio reaches consumers on the path to purchase: AM/FM radio has an 86% ad-supported in-car share of audio
  • AM/FM radio drives store traffic: AM/FM radio boosted store traffic for home improvement, quick service restaurants, beauty retailers, and car dealers all saw store traffic lift
  • AM/FM radio has a proven track record for retail: AM/FM radio generates $16 of retail sales for every $1 of radio advertising

Click here to read more of Westwood One’s holiday retail insights on MediaVillage.

Lauren Vetrano is Director of Content Marketing at CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One.

Contact the Insights team at