If you employ radio advertising in your marketing plan, ‘piggybacking’ 30-second spots can help you achieve greater value and a more powerful presence while taking advantage of co-op funds in a completely legal manner.
First, there are a couple of things to understand. Sixty-second radio spots are a better overall value…always. Radio stations charge a premium for 30-second spots. Usually, a 30-second spot cost is 80% of a 60.
Some media planners will argue that two 30-second spots with separation are more likely to increase both reach and frequency. In some cases that might be valid, but remember, in every spot you have to devote a portion of that spot to identification…name, address, phone, web URL, etc. In a 60-second spot you only need to disclose that information once.
Over the years, I’ve witnessed a number of tests with brand recall of schedules comprised mostly of 60-second spots, versus schedules of mostly 30-second spots. The recall for the 60-second spots always ranked higher. Radio stations will try hard to sell you 30-second spots for the simple reason that it allows them to sell more units in a given hour at a higher price and make more money. Can’t hate them for that.
Most factory co-op rules will not allow you to include mention of other brands or used cars in a co-op spot where the factory contributes all or a portion of the funds. That’s reasonable. But there are no rules regarding adjacencies or spacing.
“A little thoughtful planning can give you maximum value and presence in your radio schedule and help you take advantage of every co-op dollar available.”
So, what if you buy two 30-second spots ‘piggybacked; together so they run as a 60-second spot, but bill as separate entities? The radio station sends you two separate bills, one of ‘segment A’ which might be your co-op spot approved and paid by the factory, and a bill for ‘segment B’ which is for whatever else you want to talk about, billed to you and paid by you. But, the two 30-second spots run ‘back to back’…’piggybacked’ so it has the power and value of one 60-second spot. If your media buyer knows what he/she is doing, you would receive the 60-second rate, with the billing split into two separate entities. This is completely legal. I have never, nor will I ever advocate any kind of illegal billing scheme known often as ‘double billing.’
Let me give you an example of exactly how a ‘piggybacked’ spot might work:
Thirty second spot A – Ford Fusion/co-op
“No wonder Ford Fusions are the hottest selling car in this tri-state region! Here at Jack Smith Ford we’re setting all time sales, and Fusion sales records because of style, value, roominess and great mileage. And now with Ford’s ‘seal the deal’ event, you get 0% financing on approved credit plus $500 factory cash on every Ford Fusion. You’ll love your Jack Smith Ford Fusion. And you’ll really love the deal at Jack Smith Ford, Main St., in Fordtown USA. Check us out at Jack Smith dot com or call 1-800 Jack Smith.”
Thirty second spot B – Jack Smith used
“Remember, as the largest volume Ford dealer in this area we take in an amazing amount of great used vehicles (some with low miles in like-new condition). How about this Jack Smith 2013 Ford Mustang…or a 2013 Chevy Camaro…your choice 15,999 while they last. Stock numbers 472845 and 85717. See these and all of our great used bargains at Jack Smith dot com. You’ll love the deal…and you’ll love the way we do business at Jack Smith Ford in Fordtown USA. Call us right now at 1-800 Jack Smith.”
These two spots would run back to back as one 60-second spot. The station would send you two bills. The first bill would have the copy of the spot A as a 30-second spot with affidavits of time run. This would be the spot reimbursed with co-op. The second bill would be for the Spot B as a 30 with affidavits of time run, which would be paid from your general advertising fund.
If you have other franchises or want specific copy for additional used vehicles, CPO or buy-here programs, you can run as many additional spots as you want rotated with the co-op spot. You just need to make sure the copy is approved for co-op for the portion the factory will be reimbursing and that those spots run as scheduled and agreed.
A little thoughtful planning can give you maximum value and presence in your radio schedule and help you take advantage of every co-op dollar available.