(By Bob McCurdy) Radio brings a lot to the advertising table: unparalleled reach, powerful return-on-ad-spend, unique personalities, audio dominance, affordable presence, as well as onsite experiential and sampling opportunities, to name a few.
While the majority of focus has been on the quantitative and qualitative aspects of the radio listener, little attention has been paid to the mindset, mood, and feelings the listener is experiencing at the time of commercial exposure, which plays a key role in advertising receptivity.
We wanted to get a better grasp of this mindset so we dug into USA TouchPoints 2016.1 data.
There can be little disagreement that it’s preferable to reach someone with a commercial message when they are in a positive mood and relaxed, as opposed to being in a foul mood and irritated. We’ve long maintained that radio delivers “atmosphere on tap,” helping elevate people’s mood and, based on the figures below, we believe this is a great benefit to any radio advertiser as well. Why? The radio listener is an overwhelmingly positive (i.e. ad-friendly) frame of mind.
The chart below highlights that the two dominant feelings that listeners are experiencing are ones of being “content” and being “happy.” Both are good news for advertisers. Fully 92% of all feelings experienced are positive or neutral, both conducive to commercial registration.
The feelings of being “tired” and “exhausted” can also be considered positive in that research has shown that listeners experiencing these feelings largely accept the commercial messaging as opposed to “contesting” or challenging its claims.
And contrary to what some surmise, the AM/FM listener is alert, engaged, and relaxed much of the time they are tuned in, which is likely a major contributing factor to the powerful return-on-ad-spend that the Nielsen ROAS studies have uncovered.
Interestingly, almost 1/3 of all listening occurs when alone, which reinforces the intensely personal nature of the radio medium, the belief that the personality is speaking specifically to “me.” In this increasingly digitized world, we remain, at our core, analog beings. This one-to-one communication is welcomed, sought out, and powerful.
While radio listening is often done while multi-tasking, this multi-tasking is largely done while doing every day “life” tasks and not with other media. This multi-tasking is preferable to the intense multi-tasking that now exists between television and mobile on the living room couch and as we can see from the chart below, radio is truly America’s companion accompanying listeners throughout their day.
Chances are we’ve never discussed this positive aspect of radio advertising with clients but the greatest creative in the world won’t resonate with the consumer if they are not in the proper frame of mind to receive its messaging. As we can see from the charts above, the radio listener is in a positive frame of mind, alert, and in a desirable mood, all critically important when communicating an advertising message.
It would be well worth the time to review this data with our clients. It’s another powerful benefit and reason to utilize this terrific medium.