06 February 2015
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The Power of Sound

This week’s egtabite features research that was presented during the 2015 egta Radio Market Intelligence Meeting in Vienna. iHeartMedia – the USA’s largest radio broadcaster – conducted a study on how the brain responds to audiovisual advertising messages in partnership with Neuro-Insight, a leading neuromarketing firm.

The results were remarkable: Neuro-Insight’s research clearly demonstrated that radio ads consistently outperformed television ads in the way the memory encodes messages. Memory Encoding is strongly associated with consumer choice and purchase behaviour, and this study offers convincing proof that radio advertising is highly effective in impacting market outcomes.

The methodology

During the egta meeting, Philippe Generali (President/CEO of RCS and Media Monitors, subsidiaries of iHeartMedia) presented the methodology used by Neuro-Insights. The company used its patented Steady-State Topography brain imaging technology to test eight advertising campaigns that had employed both television and radio ads concurrently.

Neuro-Insights’s key metric was Memory Encoding. The speed of encoding affects how deeply messages are processed by the brain, and other studies have shown conclusively that this in turn affects whether consumers will choose to buy certain products. Test subjects were monitored whilst listening to radio commercials and television ads from the same campaigns, and to simulate a normal environment, the radio spots were accompanied by innocuous video of car journeys.

The ear is faster than the eye

Philippe showed one of the cases in the study – radio and TV commercials for the movie The Expendables – which shows how the audio message encodes more effectively than the TV content. In seven of the eight cases tested by Neuro-Insights, radio outperformed TV ads in Memory Encoding at key branding moments. This indicates that radio produces better content-ad interaction, which in turns leads to better outcomes for the brands in terms of consumer behaviour. The analysis also shows the importance of good spot creation and composition, as branding messages need to be delivered when the brain is most receptive to Memory Encoding.

Dr. Radha Subramanyam, Executive Vice President of Insights for iHeartMedia commented on the report when it was published last year, saying “If advertisers want their messages to truly register with consumers – and drive their purchasing behavior – they need to make radio a significant part of their media budgets.”

The message for iHeartMedia’s clients is clear: not only does radio come at a lower CPM than TV; on top of that it offers a more effective route into the memory of consumers. There is therefore a clear justification for allocating larger budgets to radio!

Why does this matter for egta members

This study uses a robust and accountable empirical methodology to demonstrate the power of audio and the high effectiveness of radio advertising. Whilst advertisers may intuitively want to associate visuals to their brands, it is actually the messages that reach the ear that may have greatest impact in terms of driving purchase behaviour.

This research supports a key argument to present to media buyers: radio is the most cost-effective, high-reach medium marketers that can use to reach their customers, and the way our brains are wired means audio delivers exceptional impact in terms of consumer choice and purchase behaviour.

Target: Radio
» Please click here for interviews about the research & live demo of Memory encoding
Background info

Please click on the links below to access the relevant documents:

» iHeartMedia website (please click here)

Download in PDF

Please click here download the PDF version

Next events

egta Online Audio Taskforce
14 April 2015, Brussels
Contact us for more information

» 2015 Annual General Meeting (Budapest) hosted by MTVA

Thursday, 21 May (10:30 AM) to Friday 22 May (2:00 PM) .

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» It's the World Radio Day next week!






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