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ABX Study: Video TV Ads Versus AM/FM Radio Audio Ads


Cumulus Media
Cumulus Media

To determine whether video "sight, sound and motion" trumps audio ads, ABX examined the largest head-to-head creative study of audio and video ads. ABX has a large normative database of 365,000+ measured ads globally, from the U.S. and 13 other countries, representing 90% of global ad spend. For the purposes of the analysis, ABX examined two years' worth of recent testing, which totaled 40,000 ads and included 10,738 TV ads and 2,779 AM/FM radio ads. The findings are outlined in this week's Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group blog:

  • AM/FM radio creative effectiveness is 92% of TV at one-fourth of the CPM:TV advertising effectiveness is only 8% better than AM/FM radio at 4X the CPM.

  • Best testing AM/FM radio ads outperform nearly half of all TV ads: ABX found that the higher ABX-Index-scored AM/FM radio ads actually outperformed 48% of TV executions.

  • Haircare and skincare: AM/FM radio ads perform very close to TV ad effectiveness for highly visual personal care categories. ABX found that in the skincare category AM/FM radio creative performs at 95% of TV effectiveness. In haircare, AM/FM radio performs at 89% of TV.

  • Quick service restaurants: AM/FM radio ads perform very closely to TV ads in a category that has valued showing beautiful shots of food: Across a series of measures (clear brand, message delivery, reputation, likeability, and taking action), the QSR AM/FM radio ads performed very similarly to the TV ads at a fraction of the CPM.

  • According to Nielsen, 61% of TV ads are not seen: A major study by Nielsen reveals few TV ads earn consumer "eyes on glass." When TV ads are playing 39% of the time the audience's eyes are on the screen, 40% of the time people are looking at their phone or a second screen, and 21% of the time people are out of the room.

  • Games of Thrones: Audio trumps video in creating consumer engagement with emotion-based stories as audio books beat the TV show in consumer engagement: A study by Nature Research found consumers are far more engaged with an audio story than a video narrative. The Game of Thrones audio book audience showed greater physiological responses (heart rate, body temperature, and galvanic skin response) than viewers of the TV show.

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