Radio Is Effective For Political Ads


New Research From Katz Suggests Radio Can Be As Impactful As TV In Influencing Undecided Voters
September 27, 2018

For many political campaigns, success on NOVEMBER 6th hinges on the ability to win support from swing voters. With these votes up for grabs, it is imperative that campaigns do their very best to court them. While Local Radio has always provided an effective platform for campaigns to get their message out, KATZ RADIO GROUP is uncovering new evidence that affirms Radio’s ability to speak to and influence these crucial swing voters.

KATZ has partnered with VERITONIC to conduct ongoing research that quantifies the impact Radio advertising has on the electorate – and to develop best practices for producing effective Radio copy.

Case Study: Bill Nelson For U.S. Senate

KATZ notes, "Our initial research focused on the state of FLORIDA with it’s hotly contested race for U.S. Senate. VERITONIC measured the opinions of real swing voters – Floridians who will vote in the upcoming election, but are undecided on the candidate they support. Political ads were tested for their ability to emotionally resonate with swing voters and drive candidate preference.

"One group of FLORIDA swing voters viewed a TV commercial from the Democratic candidate, BILL NELSON. The spot featured NELSON speaking about his dedication to the country, accompanied by visuals of his past service. A second group of swing voters listened to the audio track from this same TV spot. (Note: we used the TV spot’s audio bed as a proxy for Radio, since the NELSON campaign was not running Radio ads at the time of fieldwork) VERITONIC compared the feedback from both groups, and the results were compelling:

  • Radio creative, by itself, can deliver an emotional impact on par with Television

  • Across all key metrics, the audio spot successfully conveyed positive feelings to swing voters:

    • On Trust, the audio spot delivered 93% of the impact generated from the TV spot. While for Sincerity, the audio was 97% as impactful as Television

    • Audio performed better than TV on the metric of Inspiration, as swing voters found the audio spot to be +9% more inspiring than the TV spot

    • Radio advertising can influence a person’s vote as much as Television

    • After listening to the audio spot, swing voters were 8% more inclined to vote for BILL NELSON – the same measured lift for those swing voters exposed to his TV spot


“The results of this study are very clear, Radio has the ability to be every bit as effective in impacting voter intentions as TV. As we near the end of the midterm election cycle, Radio should be considered an efficient medium that provides comparable impact in a less cluttered political media environment,” said KATZ Chief Marketing Officer STACEY LYNN SCHULMAN.


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