According to research conducted by Absolute Radio, promotional tools such as competitions and live brand mentions by DJs are a more effective way of boosting recall and impression of the brand than spot advertisements.
The findings were based on interviews with four groups of 250 listeners, who were each played a station jingle, an advertisement, a promotional trail and a “live read” about Starbucks instant coffee Via, which is unavailable in the UK.
The study found that a live read by a DJ talking about the product led to the best spontaneous recall, with 80% remembering the brand, while promotional trails for sponsored shows or competitions were recalled by 73% and ads 58%.
Live reads were also found to have the most positive impact on listeners, 43% said the audio left them feeling more positive about the brand, compared with 36% for promotional trails and 31% for ads.
Commercial radio receives about 20% of advertising revenue from sponsorship and promotion, with some observers saying that that number is likely to increase.
David Peters, head of sponsorship at Carat, says sponsorship and promotion provides an “emotional connection” with listeners. “There is an implicit endorsement about a DJ talking about a brand in the context of a competition.”