NEWS27 September 2023

Audio advertising works best when positive, study finds

Media News UK

UK – Audio advertising that helps listeners feel more positive is more likely to drive consumer behaviour change than other emotional responses, according to a publication from creative effectiveness company System1 and commercial radio industry body Radiocentre.


The research, which is published in a report called Listen Up!, found that adverts that created more positive emotion and less negative emotion caused significantly more consumer action change, including brand purchase and use.

The results are based on analysis of 131 radio adverts featuring effectiveness and emotional data collected from more than 50,000 radio listeners and non-listeners.

The report said that radio is as likely to cause long-lasting effects through an emotional response as television advertising, and well-branded adverts see a significant increase in radio’s trust-building effect.

Audio advertising that uses features like character, story unfolding, sense of place and dramatic intimacy create more positive emotion, less negative emotion and attract the attention of broader audiences and forms stronger memories, the research added.

Andrew Tindall, author of Listen Up! and global partnerships director at System1, said: “In Listen Up!, we demonstrate how to harness the trust and intimacy of radio to create long-lasting business effects not by demanding attention, but by attracting it with voice, dialogue, music and drama.”

Mark Barber, planning director at Radiocentre, said: “In demonstrating how well-executed audio-only advertising can be as powerful as audio-visual advertising and the importance of using more emotional right-brain creative features in optimising its effect, System1’s data-driven interrogation of audio creativity has the potential to transform attitudes towards audio advertising in general.

“The best practice recommendations it presents, if acted upon, will benefit writing and production processes and deliver better-sounding and even more effective audio ads – a welcome outcome for both listeners and advertisers.”