Radio ads delivered by on-air talent, one the oldest forms of sponsored entertainment, are back. Called live reads, the ads are often worth 1.5 times the average 60-second spot, say insiders.
Live reads work best as part of an integrated marketing campaign or part of the personality's ongoing relationship with a brand, says Greg Kahn, senior VP at Optimedia, which has inked multiple deals with radio talent this year. Clear Channel, for instance, is working company-wide to connect local talent with advertisers, and has lured Las Vegas Tourism and Purina onto the air. At Clear Channel, DJs fill out personality profiles listing the products and services they're most interested in, to be used as a lead-generation tool for the sales teams.
In addition, CBS Radio is tapping its local DJs to do live reads for its local streaming audio stations through its partnership with Yahoo Music, one of the largest online commitments to the format to date.