The evidence of AM/FM radio’s marketing effectiveness for the pharmaceutical category is quickly accumulating
Pharma is now the number one advertising category on network radio
Since 2018, pharmaceutical and drug store spend on network radio has soared +59%, according to Miller Kaplan. AbbVie, Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson, and P&G are running AM/FM radio campaigns for multiple brands.
Brand new ABX study of nearly 3,000 pharma ads: AM/FM radio is 94% as effective as TV at one-fourth the CPM
A just released study from ABX, a leading creative effectiveness measurement firm, examined 2,970 pharmaceutical ads that ran from March 2022 to February 2023 across TV, print, digital, outdoor, online video, free standing print inserts, and AM/FM radio.
The average creative effectiveness score for the 90 AM/FM radio ads tested (106) was 94% of the average score of 660 TV ads (113).
“Sight, sound, and motion” superiority over audio ads is a myth
Pharmaceutical AM/FM radio ads performed nearly as well as TV at a fraction of the CPM. AM/FM radio pharmaceutical creative effectiveness scores beat online and print, both highly visual media.
Gary Getto, President of ABX, says, “Moving some TV funds to AM/FM radio produces significantly higher reach. Often the excuse for not doing this is the need for sight, sound, and motion that TV provides and, in many cases, the lack of confidence in AM/FM radio creative’s ability to move the needle. But extensive ABX data shows that AM/FM radio can be nearly as effective as television when best practices in audio creative are followed.”
On behalf of an IBS-C and CIC pharmaceutical brand, the Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group® commissioned Swoop, the precision healthcare marketing experts, and Nielsen to develop data-driven targeting for AM/FM radio campaigns
“Using Swoop data to inform broadcast radio planning and measurement for pharmaceutical brands is now a reality,” said Suzanne Grimes, EVP, Marketing for Cumulus Media and President, Westwood One. “Not only can you now find the right audience on radio, but pharma marketers can generate quantifiable reach and impact.”
“Today’s advertiser needs access to quick and efficient insights that allow them to more effectively plan, optimize and measure beyond age and gender,” said Angela Girardin, SVP of Audience Intelligence at Nielsen. “Nielsen is committed to incorporating advanced audiences across the media ecosystem, delivering valuable insight and analysis to our clients for more strategic execution of their media dollars.”
Scott Rines, Chief Revenue Officer of Swoop said, “Through this partnership, healthcare and life sciences advertisers can apply the same audiences they’re activating digitally to network radio, optimizing reach and frequency with target patient populations having a high propensity of engagement, driving better outcomes.”
The Nielsen/Swoop analysis period occurred from April 2022 through June 2022. The Nielsen Portable People Meter panel size averaged 4,551 monthly respondents. Here are the key findings of the analysis:
AM/FM radio generates significant audiences among a modeled IBS-C and CIC segment with a weekly reach of 83.2% and average weekly time spent listening of eight hours
Television has long been the centerpiece of pharma media plans. While TV’s 65+ weekly reach has held up, reach under the age of 60 has been plummeting.
In Nielsen’s Q3 2022 Total Audience Report, linear TV has sunk to a 66% weekly reach among persons 25-54. Each week, nearly one out of three American 25-54s will never see any linear TV ads.
AM/FM radio to rescue. AM/FM radio’s massive 86% weekly reach among 25-54s can supplement TV’s lost reach. Ad Age recently reported that P&G is heavily investing in AM/FM radio to find lost TV audiences.
Among the IBS-C and CIC segment, Nielsen finds more than eight out of ten are reached weekly with over an hour a day of listening.
A media planner’s dream: AM/FM radio programming format shares among pharma segments
The huge benefit of connecting Nielsen Portable People Meters to pharma segments is the ability to inform a media plan and allocate impressions to reach the right audience. Over-the-air AM/FM radio listening can be examined among patient segments. A media plan can then be created using AM/FM radio programming format allocations via format shares within the patient segment.
Within the Swoop modeled IBS-C and CIC segment, AM/FM radio programming format shares can be compared to overall U.S. format shares:
- The Urban AC format has an 8% share among the IBS-C and CIC segment, which is 54% greater than the overall Urban AC format share (5%) in the U.S.
- The News/Talk share is 15% larger among the pharma segment.
- The Sports format share is 22% greater in the patient segment.
Refine media buys by optimizing AM/FM radio programming format weight to Nielsen shares within Swoop target segment
Below, Nielsen format shares from the actual buy via Media Monitors commercial occurrences are depicted in the second column. The next column reveals Nielsen AM/FM radio format shares among the Swoop digestive segment.
The red minus indicates AM/FM radio formats that can be decreased in campaign weight. The green plus depicts AM/FM radio formats that can be increased in future campaigns.
AM/FM radio is the reach accelerator for pharma brands: Novartis’ Cosentyx brand could experience a +55% lift in incremental reach with the addition of AM/FM radio
Via Nielsen Media Impact, the media planning platform, it is easy to model out the scenario of optimizing TV buys via an AM/FM radio reallocation. In November 2022, Consentyx’s TV campaign reached 40% of their persons 35-64 target demographic.
Shifting 20% of Consentyx’s TV investment to AM/FM radio increases reach from 40% to an astonishing 61%. The addition of this modest AM/FM radio allocation generates a +55% increase in persons 35-64 reach for the same investment.
Reallocating 20% of the TV budget to AM/FM radio generates substantial reach lifts across every age demographic. The younger the age demographic, the great the incremental reach lift. The addition of AM/FM radio generates a:
- +30% increase among persons 55-64
- +56% reach among persons 45-54
- +112% lift in persons 35-44
You cannot solve your light TV viewing problem by buying more TV: AM/FM radio generates massive growth in campaign reach among light TV viewers
Shifting 20% of Consentyx’s TV budget to AM/FM radio generates a stunning 2.5X increase in light TV viewer reach (16.8% to 42.4%). Among medium TV viewers, the addition of AM/FM radio lifts incremental reach by +35%.
AM/FM radio works for a digestion medication: The younger the demo, the larger the reach gains when including AM/FM radio with TV
Looking at a real life example of a pharmaceutical drug for digestion, a Nielsen Media Impact analysis of a recent November 2022 campaign reveals AM/FM radio added incremental reach to the TV audience. Incremental reach was greatest among younger demos where TV has a lower reach. Among persons 18-24, AM/FM radio generates +129% in incremental reach. Among persons 25-34, +99% and among adults 35-44, +58%.
- Pharma is now the number one advertising category on network radio
- Brand new ABX study of nearly 3,000 pharma ads: AM/FM radio is 94% as effective as TV at one-fourth the CPM
- “Sight, sound, and motion” superiority over audio ads is a myth
- On behalf of an IBS-C and CIC pharmaceutical brand, the Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group® commissioned Swoop, the precision healthcare marketing experts, and Nielsen to develop data-driven targeting for AM/FM radio campaigns
- AM/FM radio generates significant audiences among a modeled IBS-C and CIC segment with a weekly reach of 83.2% and average weekly time spent listening of eight hours
- A media planner’s dream: Refine media buys by optimizing AM/FM radio programming format weight to Nielsen shares within Swoop target segment
- AM/FM radio is the reach accelerator for pharma brands: Novartis’ Cosentyx brand could experience a +55% lift in incremental reach with the addition of AM/FM radio
- You cannot solve your light TV viewing problem by buying more TV: AM/FM radio generates massive growth in campaign reach among light TV viewers
- AM/FM radio works for a digestion medication: The younger the demo, the larger the reach gains when including AM/FM radio with TV
Pierre Bouvard is Chief Insights Officer of the Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group®.
Contact the Insights team at CorpMarketing@westwoodone.com.