Of Automobiles, Radio and People. Lessons Learned from World-Renowned Research

Radio Advertising Increases the Chances of Buying in the Automotive Sector


Radio is a powerful and often underused platform by advertisers. The power of radio should not be underestimated, especially by car brands, shows a study by RadioCentre. According to it, 35% of listeners who have heard radio advertising in the car are more inclined to review the advertised car brands.

Radio is also an invaluable intermediary when it comes to the functionality of a car. This is because many people would not bother to review a written list of features, but while driving, they listen when they are introduced to the basic features of the car. For car brands, radio increases the relevance of advertising by 60%, brand awareness grows to 83% and strongly influences the idea of buying a car brand (up to 44%).*



The automotive category is highly specific as a promotional product, much more complex to advertise than the fashion or other retail sectors. This is because buying cycles are longer and although people regularly use the internet to research and look for cars, rarely does anyone buy a car online. With the radio, car brands have the opportunity to reach people while they are driving or traveling in a car - just at the moment when they themselves take advantage of the product. When calculating media consumption in a given car, IPA TouchPoints** found that 78% of that time was spent listening to the radio. At the same time, radio reaches 56% of car trips, which strengthens its wide range.


We already know from a number of studies*** that reaching people during related activities improves consumer engagement with advertising by 23%. As a result, ads are perceived much better by listeners, with a sense of personal focus.

Last but not least, the return on investment (ROI) for car brands in radio is also extremely high. Radio is in a leading position as a communication channel for the automotive category with an average return on investment of 6 times in a total of 42 analyzed campaigns.****

The high results that the radio achieves are not surprising given its ability to communicate with the audience while in the car, to deliver a high SoV (Share of Voice) for car brands compared to other media and to achieve a proven effect in stimulating listeners to search for information about a brand online - an important goal for a number of car campaigns. That is why the automotive sector is one of the most active in radio advertising for more than 20 years.

* Travelling in car data http://www.uksnapshots.com/travelling.html#share-reach 
** IPA Touchpoints data – International database reporting consumer behavior: https://ipa.co.uk/knowledge/touchpoints
*** Radio bite: No time like hear and now: https://www.radiocentre.org/radio-bite-no-time-like-hear-and-now/
**** Radio: The ROI Multiplier https://www.radiocentre.org/roi-multiplier/resources/roi-multiplier-report-1.pdf