Did Radio Just Out-Thor TV?

Maybe. In an unprecedented move, Cumulus Radio offered an industry-first ROI guarantee when advertising with Westwood One Radio.

Although, Cumulus has the smallest market cap of any publicly traded radio media group…it’s a David vs Goliath move that’s gotten attention.

Recently, TV media sellers have banded together to combat the mountain of data that digital offers (compared to lagging performance data TV offers) in a new initiative called Thor.

But while TV execs from Comcast to CBS to AT&T have been discussing Thor, Cumulus came out and said: we’ll guarantee the ROI of buys on radio right now.

Beating TV to the punch. Clever.

But there are some caveats (as there should be).

First, advertisers must submit radio creative for pre-testing and benchmarking in order to qualify.

Creative pre-testing is a derivative from MoreFM in Philadelphia, who recently announced creative pre-testing via Sensory Logic as long as the advertiser is spending $12,000. When MoreFM’s owner Jerry Lee began this initiative, NRG and Hershey became the first takers.

According to Chief Research Officer at CBS Television David Poltrack, TV creative + messaging = 70% of the impact of TV advertising.

Cumulus’ research in radio shows creative execution = 50% of the impact of radio advertising.

Translation: put an awful spot into TV (or radio) media, and you’ll get an awful result. But especially in TV.

“Even though Cumulus is smallest radio seller of Davids versus TV sized Goliaths,” said COO of C3 Metrics advertising attribution data cloud Jeff Greenfield. “their move is extremely smart. They know that creative impacts performance more than anything else. And they were smart enough and small enough that they led the way on ROI even before TV media sellers laid down a guarantee.”

The big question?

Can TV lift the hammer of Thor with nimble, simple DriveShaft™ attribution to fill TV’s performance data black hole?