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Radio advertising during COVID-19

Jo Loup Feb 9, 2022 9:45:00 AM

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. 

At the beginning of the lockdown tuning levels fell as many Canadians switched to working from home. These tuning levels have been slow to climb but analysis of total radio tuning in Toronto shows a gradual increase over the last 4 currency releases.

So which brands are listening to the 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 December 30, 2019 to December 26, 2021. The analysis is limited to the top 10 class of advertisers which comprise 87% of all impressions across these stations in 2021.

Radio advertising data highlights

  • Adult 25-54 impressions across these stations and class of advertising was up 7% in 2021 compared to 2020. Q2 impressions (April-June) were 67% higher than the previous year and Q3 (July-September) impressions were 15% higher year on year (YOY).
  • 7 out of 10 of the top 10 class of advertisers have increased their weight of A25-54 GRPs in 2021 compared to 2020.
  • The retail class has increased 5% YOY. Within this, the restaurant category has increased 18% mainly driven by McDonalds. They doubled their weight of activity compared to the previous year with an almost continual presence on radio.
  • Food and beverage stores increased their weight of activity by 38% YOY with significant increases in GRPs from advertisers such as Food Basics and No Frills and new advertisers on air such as the Beer Store and Farm Boy.
  • Advertising in the services class has also increased. GRPs for Health Care services have doubled driven by a heavier campaign from Canadian Blood Services. Food services’ GRPs have also increased significantly. This is driven exclusively by GoodFood who have almost tripled their weight of activity YOY.

Radio advertising dashboard

The chart below shows the top 10 class of advertisers compared by year with the ability to drill down to a category level. The full dashboard is available to our radio PPM subscribers either through Lens or the home page of InstarRadio PPM.