We've all heard how important it is to focus on brand building during COVID-19. Experts across the globe have shown us historical data supporting the fact that brands that invest during difficult times are more successful in the end. ThinkTV and RadioConnects have done an amazing job at curating these articles. We have also created a weekly updated radio listening dashboard below along with our previously posted TV tuning dashboard to help keep you up to date on changing habits.

According to the data, TV numbers grew at the beginning of the lock down and radio is still strong. So which brands are listening to these experts and increasing their investment in advertising? Our radio dashboard below shows RADTracker competitive insights for the top 10 Toronto radio stations (based on A25-54 AMA) for the period January 20 to May 10, 2020.


Here are a few interesting points to note:

Despite the fact that overall impressions for Adults 25-54 were down across the analyzed stations post lockdown vs pre lockdown, some categories saw significant increases in activity.

  • The Government related category saw a 900% increase in GRPs post lockdown driven by Coronavirus messaging.
  • PSAs saw significant increases in GRPs specifically around charities, drugs, alcohol, environmental and poverty related causes.
  • The food category, in terms of general brand messaging, saw a 56% increase in activity
  • While many automotive categories cut their spending, corporate messaging increased with activity from both Hyundai and Ford regarding payment deferrals.

Unsurprisingly, some categories saw declines in GRP activity.

  • Travel and tourism categories, including Amusement Parks essentially cancelled all activity.
  • Most retail categories saw a decrease in activity however, the home improvement store category saw an 18% increase in GRPs thanks to increased activity from both Lowes and Rona who changed their messaging to highlight online shopping and curbside pickup.
  • All restaurant advertisers drastically cut their radio advertising apart from Tim Hortons who switched to messages regarding the changes they were making and free delivery.
  • While Electronics and Technology saw significant decreases in activity, the subcategories of computers, printers and accounting software saw some increases.

Clients with radio PPM subscriptions can access the full dashboard containing advertiser and brand details either through Lens or the home page of InstarRadio PPM.


Other blog posts you may enjoy:

Impact of COVID-19 on radio listening

TV advertising during COVID-19

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