You wouldn’t enter a clothing store, try on the ugliest hat and then wear it home. Nor would you enter a gourmet food shop, buy their worst-smelling cheese and then rush home to eat it. Yet, the next customer through the door might covet that hat or love that cheese and make that purchase.
Countless marketers do their brands a disservice by letting preconceptions and personal preferences keep them from maximizing their profits on radio. Two examples make the case.
Rush Limbaugh’s politics and brash personality polarize listeners and keep many marketers from advertising on America’s #1 rated, weekday radio talk show.
Howard Stern’s adult (and juvenile) humor make his SiriusXM show a “must avoid” for many mainstream advertisers, despite the fact that his “Howard 100” channel is the most listened to channel on SiriusXM Satellite, which serves more than 24 million subscribers.
That’s unfortunate. Because no matter how polarizing Rush and Howard may be – no matter how “offensive to some” their program content may be on any given day – their listeners LOVE them. Limbaugh and Stern listeners drink the Kool-Aid. When Rush and Howard read commercial copy, their listeners jump. Even without specific numbers to make the case, it’s safe to say that when you hear an advertiser on the air, month after month, the people writing the checks continue to make that investment because the investment is working.
Are there product categories and brands that aren’t the best fit for these programs? You bet. But the universe of strong product-and-program matches has been artificially-limited by Advertising VPs and CMO who take the path of least resistance by steering their brands clear of controversy.
Groups like National Federation for Decency and Morality in Media scare off many first-time Limbaugh and Stern advertisers, sending letters to those advertisers and making social media posts promising to boycott their brands. Shifting the media dollars elsewhere is always the simple solution when the boss bellows “Get us off that radio program!”
But those who persevere often find great success and profitable ROI that can not only justify the advertising expenditure, but can launch and grow a brand to build a company’s valuation and success.
Loyal advertisers swear by the results. Passionate protesters hope to scare your off that path to profit.