How to Best Use a Remnant Ad Campaign

What Are Remnant Ads?


If you haven’t heard of remnant ads, let me be the first to introduce them to you. Remnants are unsold advertising spots. On the radio, many times an ad might be unsold throughout the 24 hour broadcast day. When that happens, it is available to sell for fractions of what it normally would cost. Most people think that’s an awesome deal, and it is! What you’re counting on is to buy enough unsold ads to go in a large area so that your message can get across multiple times to reach as many people as possible.

Interestingly, women respond to 3 to 4 advertising messages but men take longer. Men respond after hearing 7 to 8 ads before they take action. So running your ad campaign could be a very expensive way to stretch your ad budget if you are just testing out a new commercial spot.

You can’t just do one city or one station because they may not have enough “leftover” ad spots (once or twice a week) so you must reach out to a large number of stations and cities to be able to gain enough exposure with ads to actually make sales or to drive business or to create branding (top of mind awareness).

When it comes to doing a remnant radio ad campaign, your first guideline is that you have to cover a large enough region to gain enough ads to get a result from your advertising campaign.

Now here comes the tricky part… What products or services are wrong for a remnant advertising campaign?

Remnant advertising will get you a fragmented approach so direct response ads will be very ineffective. Direct response ads need to have your ad play during business hours to drive people to a website or to take advantage of a sale or some other call to action. That can work just fine when you have the same product that doesn’t require a lot of in-depth sales to complete the transaction, like if it’s a CD or a T-shirt or some other non-complex sell.

But if you require customer service to complete a sale, then a remnant ad is too random and you never know when it’s going to be aired. With regular commercial radio advertising spots, you can predict and/or pick the pattern and times at which the ads are going to be aired. That way you can prepare your online shipping/receiving to be ready for the influx of customers that broadcast radio ads are going to give you.

If you’re trying to advertise a medical clinic you might have success because you’re creating a branding ad that is heard randomly to remind people to come when they think about it. That’s a great use of a remnant campaign. More to come on this subject!  Call us at 800-208-7154 or fill out the contact form.

By Sean Pearce and Pete Miller

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