How do you confirm your ad is playing?
I work for a corporate group based out of Chicago, and we’ve been paying a radio station in Dallas and Houston to play an ad for our markets there. We haven’t been getting any calls, and our franchisees there say they haven’t heard the ad being played. How can I confirm the ads are or are not playing? Are there laws that dictate stations need to keep records for this purpose?
As far as I know, there’s no law requiring to record the transmissions, never the less, the software used to program things as ads, music, and go on air with the shows should have a log record. In this log record is where the add should appear, you should ask for this on the station and check at what time they are playing that advertisement.
Having worked in radio for quite a few years before my current job in marketing I can confirm that they should have a log for all ad spots played in a day and some sort of schedule where your future ad times are listed at least a few days in advanced. This is usually given to the (ad) traffic department to guarantee that spots get played at the appropriate time and that they don’t schedule two very similar ads next to each other. If the station you are working with is legitimate then they should have no problem giving you these, as well as recordings of the spots playing (usually with a bit of recorded time before and after so you can tell they were actually in rotation).
Thanks for reaching out with your question. Like Brittany said, there should be a log detailing when your ad plays/your ad schedule. Also, many radios provide advertisers with reports showing data on your ad, including information like active listeners at the time when your ad was played. Of course, this level of detail will vary based on the size and organization of the individual station. If they haven’t provided such information, it would be worth requesting it.
In regards to it’s effectiveness, its advised that advertisers include a special promotion in the ad so that they know when customers come to them asking for that promotion/promotional offering that it’s because they head the radio ad. If you did this, consider how compelling the promotion/offer was. Businesses commonly offer something they think is of value, that prospective customers don’t necessarily view the same way. Without an offer, or a compelling enough offer, it can be difficult to know whether or not your ad is effective.
For more info on radio advertising and how to get the most out of them, read our Radio Advertising Guide.
Hope this helps!