He found that the shorter ads were about 75 percent as good as the long ones at promoting brands. But the short commercials were only half as good at conveying the more specific information that was the spots' raison d'etre - like what was on sale.
As a result, Allan thinks the shorter ads should cost only half as much as the longer ones. He now wants to study whether running a short ad twice is as effective as running a long one.
He thinks radio stations can make the short ads work, maybe by selling more of them. And, he thinks stations could make ads more palatable by telling listeners why they're necessary - it's how stations pay their bills - and explaining that listening is the cost of "free" radio. "I'm a radio guy, so I'm looking for radio to keep all its money," he said. "I'm not looking to throw anybody under the bus."