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The Relational Factor of Radio

John McManus

When it comes to connecting with consumers on an emotional and a targeted, personal level, radio is clearly superior to TV and newspapers. That's the conclusion drawn by the Radio Ad Effectiveness Lab (RAEL) following a study fielded this past spring by Wirthlin Worldwide.

Among the study's assertions: "Consumers believe their radio programs carry ads that are appropriate for them as individuals, and listeners are therefore more ready to react at an emotional level -- if the advertisement is well suited for that program's context." But while radio as a medium compares favorably with TV and newspapers in making a personal and visceral connection with its audiences, contextual relevance, highly targeted creative, and sincerity of tone become critical factors in an ad's effectiveness, vs. longstanding radio creative characteristics such as humor and emphasis on unique product/service attributes.

"This suggests that rather than emphasizing extravagant production values in radio ads, listeners may respond more favorably to simpler, more honest-sounding messages," says Mary Bennett, executive vice president of national marketing for the Radio Advertising Bureau, and vice chair of the RAEL research committee.

Source: John McManus, American