On July 17th 2018, Nielsen published a webinar called “You Can’t Unhear This: Audio Supercharges TV Campaigns.” Moderated by Nielsen’s Rich Tunkel and Debbie Medvinsky, the webinar explores the crucial role that audio plays in marketing campaigns and how radio helps TV ads run more successfully. Nielsen also shares insight into creating good audio using their consumer neuroscience research to maximize consumer engagement.
The webinar begins with astonishing facts on the reach of audio. Americans are listening to audio all the time, especially tuning into the radio while commuting to work. Now, audio listenership is also growing due to the rise in smart speakers and devices. Nielsen found that 20% of adults own a smart speaker and that 43% of adults use an audio streaming service for radio, music and/or podcast. Additionally, the time spent listening to music has increased by 37% in the last two years. Most surprising was that AM/FM radio reaches the most people out of TV, social media and mobile/computers at 229 million people a week.
Nielsen also explained how TV ads alone fall short of reaching consumers. For adults 18-34, only 60% of all were reached via heavy TV campaigns. This is because radio reaches more people in the day time the TV does. Also, radio reaches more people outside of the home then TV does.
In order to maximize the reach of a TV campaign, Nielsen recommends adding a radio campaign to complement it. Nielsen reported how radio drove 35% higher awareness of the TV ad when aired together. They also found that radio reaches light TV viewers, which makes up 44% of Americans. While TV only reaches 9% of this group, AM/FM radio reaches 90%.
Nielsen conducted research to find out how to make memorable audio that will stick with your consumers. They found that having creative elements in commercials drives sales; a strong commercial will have 85% creative while a weak commercial will only have 67%. To incorporate the creative element into commercials, Nielsen recommends including three different elements: context, humor and branding. They found that context within commercials, like having a familiar main character, relatable dialogue and contextual sound effects, boosts the consumers memory activation. Similarly, humor can help engage consumers at first exposure and while included in small amounts, sonic branding and product information can help create brand resonance.
Ultimately, Nielsen stressed the importance of radio and how it compliments and enhances the reach of TV.