By now, many members will have heard the IDA radio advertising campaign.

Just over one million people are expected to hear the ads at least once on the 15 local radio stations within the Ireland FM Network (including Clare FM, East Coast FM, KFM, KCLR, Highland Radio, Midlands 103, Ocean FM, Radio Kerry, MWR, Shannonside/Northern Sound, South East, Tipp FM and WLR), while 21% of adults will have heard it at least three times. Of these adults reached, they will hear the ad an average of 6.2 times.

Similarly, 22% of adults (just under 800,000) will hear the ad at least once in the UTV Urban Access network of radio stations (FM104, Q102, 96FM, Galway Bay FM, Limerick live, LMFM and East Coast 102-103), with 16% hearing the ad at least three times and, of the adults reached, they will hear the ad an average of 6.4 times.

Just over 500,000 adults (14% of the adult population) are expected to hear the ad at least once on Today FM, while 8% of adults are expected to hear it three times – in total there are 42 30-second advertisements to be broadcast on Today FM over two weeks. The ad will be heard at least three times by 8% of the adult population and, of these adults reached on Today FM, they will hear the ad an average of four times.

It is important to note that a radio commercial in isolation is only ever part of a communication, and is not designed to be the main driver of change in behaviour. It needs to form part of a more cohesive communications plan. If a radical change in behaviour has been brought on by the recession (e.g., a change in behaviour among audiences going to the dentist), then in order to re-establish a norm, i.e., getting people to return to dental visits as a must in overall healthcare, it is important to develop and repeat consistent messaging to re-enforce this need and not rely on a single communication over a finite period of time, irrespective of the frequency of the commercial.

Dentists might find it useful to track responses to this campaign and other actions with the patients over a period of time. Subtle questions and messaging with patients could start to reinforce the campaign message and encourage patients to return to their dentist.