Emotion's defining role in audio advertising effectiveness

System1,the leading creative effectiveness research company and Radiocentre UK partnered to provide groundbreaking, unique and actionable research into the role of emotion in audio advertising effectiveness.

The insights are based on a hugely robust sample of 50,000 radio listeners, analysing campaigns across multiple categories that have run over the last 10 years in the UK and builds upon the work of Orlando Wood and the IPA on targeting the left/right brain in advertising. For the first time ever, this research coded audio creative features to determine whether they appeal to the left or right brain.

The research analysed audio ads for right-brain skew, which is the number of right-brain audio creative features in each ad, minus the number of left-brain features. The analysis concluded that advertisers aiming for more long-lasting effects should use more right-brain features, and fewer left-brain features. Our right hemisphere holds our broad attention on the world, it is interested in people, emotion & context. While our left hemisphere of the brain holds a narrow focus on the world and is goal orientated.

The research also explored why positive emotions is so important for audio advertising. The behavioural change of the 50,000 people involved in Radiocentre’'s effectiveness database was explored, in conjunction with System 1’s Star Rating metric which predicts long-term effectiveness, the lasting effects from positive emotions.

The research looked at the behaviour change caused by radio campaigns with below-average star ratings, those campaigns that cause weak or neutral emotions. The research concluded that they cause very limited change in any type of behaviour (which includes buying, talking about, using or searching fora brand). However, Ads with higher-than-average star ratings, those that leave people feeling positive, caused large behaviour changes.

The research also looked at how ads are shared. Campaigns with higher star ratings are talked about more and shared online more.

When it comes to trust, Ads with a below-average fluency rating, with not many listeners linking the ad to the correct brand, still caused modes trust gains. However, well branded radio ads take full advantage of the powerfof radio, delivered large brand trust effects. This is so important for brandsneeding to build trust (especially professional service, health, and finance brands).

Another key finding looking at the System1 database is TV and radio ads have the same average Star Rating, predicting similar long-term effectiveness).The conclusion is that audio ads are as likely to cause long-lasting effects through an emotional response as TV advertising.

The research concluded by showing how advertisers can use the research findings to develop principles that will increase audio effectiveness.

1.      Incorporate more right brain features.

2.      Create with the listener in mind.

3.      Be consistently distinctive.

4.      Embrace the power of music.

5.      Brand early and often.


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