Katz Marketing Solutions, the national marketing arm of the Katz Media Group, announced findings of a new study that quantified the importance of audio elements in successful TV spots. The results show that audio, or radio, can efficiently and cost-effectively enhance a brand’s identification and messaging.
The study examined TV commercials from 14 major brands including Allstate, Apple, Capital One, CoverGirl, Diet Pepsi, DirectTV, Dos Equis, Duracell, GEICO, Old Spice, Outback Steakhouse, Snickers, Taco Bell and Warner Brothers.
Here’s how it worked: all audio and visual brand references were removed, and 300 respondents were served either the de-branded television clip or an audio-only version of the same clip. The respondents were asked to identify the brand, pinpoint their “aha” moment of recognition, and describe their emotional response to the audio and video segments.
Overall, the audio clips generated 93% of the brand identification metrics that the television commercial clips generated. Even with the absence of visual stimuli, consumers were able to correctly identify the brands being featured in the ads. The results also indicated that in certain instances audio triggered brand identification at a much greater rate than visual cues. For example, 25% of the respondents exposed to the Taco Bell television clip referenced visual cues as the brand trigger, while 55% mentioned the sound of the iconic Taco Bell “bong” as the “aha” branding moment. In Duracell’s television clip, 50% more viewers referenced its distinctive three-note audio signature as the brand trigger than any visual stimuli. And for Outback Steakhouse, four times as many respondents cited the announcer’s Aussie voice as the brand trigger than any visual element of the commercial.
The audio clips alone also prompted emotional responses in respondents. For the Warner Brothers’ movie, “The Hobbit,” as many respondents to the audio clip expressed excitement and desire to see the movie as those exposed to the television clip. In Taco Bell’s case, the audio clip generated mentions of hunger almost as often as those exposed to the television clip. For CoverGirl, the audio clip was just as likely to invoke feelings of happiness as the television clip.
“In these days of tighter budgets and intensified focus on ROI, advertisers must maximize ad budget impact in every way possible,” said Bob McCurdy, President of Katz Marketing Solutions. “Marketers often allocate large sums of ad dollars to broadcast television commercials, which results in the creation of tremendous audio equity—a brand’s audio logo or signature–that can continue to carry the marketing punch of a television commercial. This data strongly supports the strategic and creative use of radio to supplement a television campaign.”
RBR-TVBR observation: Almost sounds like a Pavlov’s Dog experiment. But certainly, this is a good study to use when pitching any account that uses TV advertising—large or small. It seems that advertisers can save a lot of dollars by switching a campaign over to radio after a certain tipping point is hit with television ad recognition. We wonder what the numbers would look like if radio was used first and then television.