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Saturday, September 3, 2016

IGI Says New Radio Campaign Targets Millennials, Will They Listen?

Who knew those Krazy Hep Kat Millennials listen to those Boss Jocks on terrestrial radio? 

That’s what the International Gemological Institute is banking on as it has teamed with iHeartMedia radio network to air five radio spots in select markets—“each aimed at enlightening Millennials on the importance of consumer awareness and confidence.” The problem is I doubt that the medium or the message is geared toward this demographic. 

The radio spots will run from September 6 through December 31 during the busy morning and evening drive times with the potential to reach 245 million monthly listeners, IGI said in a statement. 

But do Millennials really listen to terrestrial radio? IGI says yes and it has industry stats to back this. A spokesperson for the organization sent me the following statement. 

“Contrary to what many think, iHeartMedia, radio is still the number 1 listening source/medium for Millennials,” according to the statement. “It reaches 92 percent of this population on a monthly basis and 77 percent of Millennials say they want radio ads to tell them about specific offers. Specifically, iHeartMedia offers a variety of content that attracts 90 percent of Millennials every month. Of note, all of these stats were sourced from third party research companies such as Nielsen, Scarborough, Triton and ComScore/ Arbitron.”

I found some of the Nielsen data and you can view it here. According to Nielsen, Millennials listen to terrestrial radio 11 hours and 26 minutes per day, which may sound impressive at first glance but is actually less than their Generation Xers and Baby Boomer counterparts.

Neilsen’s data also shows that Millennials is the largest segment of radio listeners. However, that is largely because Millennials is the largest demographic group, compared with Generation Xers and Baby Boomers. 

One interesting note is that the “Country format” (country music and its related American-born music) is the most popular among Millennials. Another thing is that it appears that Millennials, like most people, listen to the radio primarily while in their cars. 

So why am I not convinced? The stats are pretty vague and radio audience statistics always involve a certain level of voodoo. It’s all about reach, or more specifically potential reach. It doesn’t measure actual listeners or impact. It doesn’t measure whether active listening is involved or if it’s just background. That’s because it's impossible to measure these things. 

There’s another reason I’m not convinced—the ad itself—which you can listen to here, thanks to Gretchen Friedrich, JNN’s social media manager. 

IGI says the spots “emphasize educating consumers on the need for independently authenticated and evaluated diamonds and gemstones, ultimately providing assurance they are truly getting what they are paying for—which is top-of-mind for cost-conscious Millennials. The ads also offer jewelry care tips and information on birthstones.” 

Other than mentioning Millennials in the press release (which I included below) there is nothing in the ad itself that targets this demographic. It’s a mass market ad for a mass market medium. Millennials are not the only cost-conscious consumers. They are not the only demographic that wants assurances “they are truly getting what they are paying for.” 

There’s nothing wrong with mass media advertising but why pretend the ad campaign and the medium target a certain demographic when it’s obvious it doesn’t? 

If IGI wants to target Millennials then IGI should create a targeted ad and marketing campaign. 

IGI press release:


Institute’s Initiative to Target Millennials

NEW YORK – On the heels of its successful consumer cable campaign, the International Gemological Institute (IGI) will air five radio spots in select markets on iHeartMedia – each aimed at enlightening millennials on the importance of consumer awareness and confidence.

The radio spots will run Sept. 6 through Dec. 31 during busy morning and evening drive times. iHeartMedia reaches over 245 million monthly listeners.

The IGI spots emphasize educating consumers on the need for independently authenticated and evaluated diamonds and gemstones, ultimately providing assurance they are truly getting what they are paying for – which is top-of-mind for cost-conscious millennials. The ads also offer jewelry care tips and information on birthstones.

“Our consumer-focused advertising initiatives continue to highlight the importance of confidence and, specifically, that IGI is an authoritative resource when purchasing diamonds and fine jewelry,” said IGI President Jerry Ehrenwald, G.G., A.S.A. “Building that assurance is essential for both consumers and retailers.”

To listen to an IGI spot that will air on iHeartMedia, click this link.

Please join me on the Jewelry News Network Facebook Page, on Twitter @JewelryNewsNet, the Forbes website and on Instagram @JewelryNewsNetwork

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