CampaignFX is the biggest analysis of audio effectiveness ever undertaken in Ireland and it shows audio's strength

Radiocentre Ireland has introduced a new research study that is designed, in partnership with research company Colourtext to evaluate the effectiveness of Irish audio advertising and provide Irish advertisers and agencies with deeper insights into how their audio campaigns are performing. CampaignFX represents the biggest combined analysis of audio advertising effectiveness ever undertaken in Ireland. It comprises of 3,750 individual interviews on 31 brands within Ireland across 5 key advertiser categories, specifically Personal Banking, TV Streaming, Fast Food & Delivery, General Insurance and Health Insurance.

CampaignFX methodology

CampaignFX is based upon the respected 'Test versus Control Group' research methodology used by many studies . However, this approach has been carefully modified for the Irish market by using a ‘stratified two-factor test-versus-control' sample and analysis scheme, that can be explained as follows.

Each survey questionnaire includes the top 7 brands in each respective market category (note - only 4 brands for Health Insurance). The research identifies brands that were on-air with a radio campaign during the period in which the survey ran, which allows the data to be split or into two groups:

A) brands that were advertising on the radio
B) brands that were not on-air at the time of survey

All of the respondents who took part in the research were also split into two groups:

1) The TEST group is made up of people with the heaviest exposure to radio advertising - these are defined as average and heavy radio listeners.

2) Conversely, the CONTROL group is made up of people with little or no exposure to radio advertising -these are defined as Light and Non-listeners to radio.

The research collected levels of Advertising Awareness for each brand. At the moment in time when each category survey went into field, there was no awareness of what brands would, or would not, be advertising across different media channels. This meant the research could capture the most natural snapshot possible of advertising activity by leading brands within each category and across all media channels. We think this gives CampaignFX data and our meta-analysis database an extra measure of authenticity and real-world credibility.

The chart below shows that for brands using radio,  the average level of Ad Awareness  was 40.5%, among average, heavy listeners, an uplift in advertising awareness of 33.1%. For brands not using radio, their advertising awareness uplift was only 26.3%. Brands that used radio had, on average, a 26% uplift in advertising awareness compared to brands that were not using radio. This is what is called the Uplift Rate.


Key finding #1: Audio helps to create future customer demand for brands

The first headline finding of this meta-analysis from the research is that radio helps to create future customer demand for brands. Thanks to the analysis of the IPA Effectiveness Databank conducted by Les Binet and Peter Field over the last decade, it is now generally accepted that most successful marketing strategies use a mixture of long-term brand-building combined with shorter-term activation activity.

As the simple model here shows, brand-building generally relates to ‘creating future demand’, which is a process that seeks to pre-prime future potential customers who won’t enter a market until some point in the near or distant future. Related to this, and moving down the diagram, we can understand ‘activation activity’ to be a process where brands aim to convert existing market demand by grabbing, hopefully, an unfair share of ready-to-purchase customers.

Let's take a look at what the meta-analysis reveals about radio’s contribution to creating future demand. 

As also mentioned earlier, this chart shows a 26% uplift in Ad Awareness for radio advertisers indexed against the baseline established by brands not using radio. Advertising Awareness is a crucial metric that measures the extent to which consumers are familiar with a brand’s advertising. This is reflected by the question we use, which asks “Have you seen or heard any advertising for these brands recently?”

Historically, exposure to radio advertising has been shown to boost awareness of a brand's marketing activity across other media channels. This is often called radio’s ‘virtual TV' or 'virtual online video effect’, and we see clear evidence for that here. Most marketing theorists would agree that boosting advertising awareness across large audiences is a key objective for any brand, and our meta-analysis of the CampaignFX data demonstrates that radio is doing this very well.

This finding is reflected by a key insight from Radiocentre UK’s Big Audio Datamine project. It looked at the impact of various media planning factors upon the growth of Advertising Awareness.


As the chart above illustrates, audience reach is clearly the driving force behind stronger ad awareness, and therefore campaign performance. This may seem surprising given that radio has historically been thought of as a frequency medium. This doesn’t mean that ad exposure frequency has no influence on radio campaign outcomes, but rather that the effect of frequency are far outweighed by the impact of building higher weekly reach. And in a market like Ireland where it’s possible to achieve  very high audience reach with radio in just one week, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by a 26% uplift in Advertising Awareness for brands using the medium.

As well as looking at advertising awareness, the CampaignFX research also enables us to review how audio advertising performs against a range of harder-to-shift emotional brand metrics that play a key role in creating future market demand.


Brand Likeability & Trust

 Brand Likeability is a useful proxy for the affection or preference consumers have for a brand, which in turn influences brand consideration and personal purchase decision making. Growing Likeability for a brand can be hard and it takes time, but our data suggests radio is an effective tool for the job. 

To measure Likeability we ask survey respondents the following question: “Which ONE brand here do you like the most?” The response to this question yields a very clear picture. The research found that Brand Likeability is on average almost 9x higher for brands using radio, which is great news for radio advertisers.

The gap in Brand Likeability between brands using radio and those not on air can possibly be explained by radio's unique ability to build feelings of intimacy between listeners and their favourite radio stations. This is evidenced by studies that show listeners often perceive listening to radio as feeling like spending time with a friend. Our meta-analysis of CampaignFX data suggests that radio advertisers can benefit from this powerful audience relationship when they use the medium effectively.

 In a similar vein, the research also reports radio generating significant uplifts in Brand Trust, which plays a crucial role in the formation of the usually, small brand repertoires that people will consider when making purchase decisions across a wide range of product categories.

Our question to survey respondents is simple: “Which of these brands is a brand you trust?” Across the 31 brands we collected data for, Brand Trust was 72% higher for brands using radio.


Key finding #2: Audio helps to convert existing customer demand

So far, the data has shown us how radio drives uplifts in awareness and how it can change the way people feel about a brand. All of this contributes to generating future demand by priming customers who are not yet ready to enter a specific market category but will likely make a purchase in the future. But what does the CampaignFX data reveal about radio’s ability to convert ‘existing demand’, or in other words, winning a purchase from consumers who are ready to buy today?

This leads onto the second key finding of the meta-analysis, which is that Radio helps to convert existing or active consumer demand.  Our data helps us understand the ability of radio advertising to drive purchase consideration among active buyers.

 Brand Consideration is a critical metric that bridges awareness and purchase intent. The question we use to capture this is simple enough: “When thinking about [brands in a specified category], which of these brands would you consider using?” Across the 31 brands we collected data for, Brand Consideration was 33% higher for brands using radio compared brands that had not been on-air. 

This is an important finding for radio advertisers. When consumers consider a brand and their interest is piqued, they tend to seek more information. In today’s media environment, this curiosity usually drives people to search for specific brands online to learn about competitive offerings, reviews, prices, and other relevant details. We see strong evidence for this process at work in the CampaignFX data.

To understand advertiser-related online search activity we therefore ask the following question: “Have you searched online for information about any of these brands n the past four weeks?”

 Across the 31 brands in our meta-analysis, we found that the uplift for Online Brand Search was 45% higher for advertisers using radio. Again, this is great news for brands using radio because it directly relates to Brand Purchase Intent, the final stage of the purchase process where consumers are ready to buy, and we’ll turn to this next.

Brand consideration, is about evaluating and comparing different brands as potential options, often marked by online exploration and information gathering. In contrast, brand purchase intent refers to making a concrete decision to buy something. This is when consumers become focused on taking action and are ready to make a purchase. We capture this intent by asking the question, ““How likely are you to buy each of these Brands within the next 3 months?”

 Our meta-analysis of CampaignFX data found that brand purchase intent was 55% higher for brands using radio advertising. This means radio is an effective way to encourage in-market consumers towards a final purchase, often by helping people reach a positive emotional decision about their final brand choice. The probability of radio achieving this outcome tends to be increased by appreciating the insights gained from our third key finding headline.


Key finding #3: The best performing radio campaigns optimise audio creativity

A key discovery of Radiocentre UK’s Big Audio Datamine project was that eight of the top ten creative attributes found in radio adverts related to developing consistent audio elements as shown in the chart below. They include music, voices, straplines, brand characters and sonic brand logos. But crucially it was found these devices had to be deployed consistently over a long period of time across all of a brand’s successive radio campaigns and the audio-visual content produced for media like TV and online video.

 Within an audio context, consistent use of both distinctive and familiar sonic branding assets is by far the best way to get noticed and remembered by listeners. To capture this effect we ask survey respondents, “What brands here make adverts that really stand out?” - notice that we don’t specific adverts in any specific medium or channel. Across the 31 brands represented in the CampaignFX database, Creative Standout turned out to be 12% higher for brands using radio advertising.

 This is a fascinating finding that begs the question, “why might audio advertising enhance perceptions of a brand’s creative standout across all advertising channels?” We think the previous insights from BIG Audio Datamine can help provide an answer. 

Radio is a medium that relies solely on audio, which can lead brands to develop strong, memorable auditory cues for their ads. These audio elements, when used consistently, become deeply embedded in listeners’ memories. When these familiar audio cues are then used in TV and online video content (or perhaps visa versa) , they trigger recognition and recall, enhancing the overall impact of the adverts across all media. We therefore think that radio serves as a foundational platform for building and reinforcing a brand’s distinctive audio identity, which then elevates a brand’s visibility and distinctiveness across all channels.

Radio's role as a foundational platform for audio creativity can play a significant role in growing a brand’s mental availability. Famously defined by Bryon Sharp and his colleagues at the Ehrenberg Bass Institute, Mental Availability refers to the likelihood of a brand being thought of in a buying situation. This is driven by a brand’s presence in the minds of consumers across various category entry points (CEPs).

CEPs are situations or needs that trigger the thought of a brand. By using consistent and distinctive audio elements, brands can effectively embed themselves in the mental frameworks of consumers and we see strong evidence for this occurring in the CampaignFX data. The 5 survey waves that comprise our total dataset deployed a set of 8 category entry point questions that defined the key consumer needs specific to each brand category. 

The basic structure of the CEP questions was the same for each category and began as follows, "Which of these brands do you strongly associate with..." - and this was followed by an appropriate category entry point statement.

 Our meta-analysis reveals that on average, brands that were advertising on radio were 29% more likely to be associated with relevant category entry points than brands that were not advertising on radio. This is a tremendous result. It demonstrates that brands can significantly enhance their creative standout and mental availability. This is achieved by using radio as a foundational platform to develop and consistently reinforce a brand’s distinctive audio identity overtime across a wider range of media channels. 



CampaignFX represents the biggest combined analysis of audio advertising effectiveness ever undertaken in Ireland. It comprises data on the top 31 brands within Ireland across 5 key advertiser categories, specifically Personal Banking, TV Streaming, Fast Food, General Insurance and Health Insurance.

The meta-analysis demonstrates how audio advertising creates future demand for advertisers by generating a 26% uplift in ad awareness, which makes consumers more familiar with a brand. Radio advertising improves brand likeability by a factor of almost 9, and boosts brand trust by 72%, thanks to its unique ability to build intimate relationships with listeners.

Thanks to this meta-analysis, we now understand far more about radio's ability to convert existing market demand. The data shows that audio advertising generates a 33% uplift in Brand Consideration, effectively moving consumers from awareness to purchase. We also found that audio advertising leads to a 45% increase in online brand searches, thereby prompting listeners to seek more information online. This in turn is related to the 55% uplift in brand purchase intent we discovered for brands using audio.

And finally, creative standout is 12% higher for brands using audio, meaning that radio often serves as a foundational platform for building and reinforcing a brand’s distinctive audio identity, which in turn elevates a brand’s visibility and distinctiveness across all other media channels.

You can watch the full webinar and download the presentation deck by clicking on the links below.


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