Study Shows Audio Advertisements Triumph Over Video in Garnering Attention and Enhancing Brand Recall

One of the largest media agencies, Dentsu, has published a groundbreaking study about the effectiveness of various audio mediums. In particular, the study focused on the media attentiveness of consumers when listening to radio and podcast advertisements compared to several types of visual ads. The subject's attentiveness was measured based on the degree to which the subjects were focusing on the materials presented to them.  

To better understand the value of what was presented here, let's review what the study was all about and what made it special.


Lumen AM/FM Radio and Podcast Attention Study from Dentsu 

Marketing specialists are always interested in learning everything that they can about the effectiveness of various methods of advertising. In the past, they have typically gathered their information via informal focus groups or even based simply on their personal feelings and opinions.  

However, the Lumen AM/FM Radio and Podcast Attention Study provided marketing specialists with some hard data that they could latch on to. There were finally real numbers that marketing specialists could sink their teeth into. They were happy to snap up the opportunity to do so.  

Fascinating Statistics About Consumer Recall  

This study, conducted by Dentsu, revealed some fascinating statistics about consumer recall of various advertising efforts. Here are a few of the astonishing statistics that are worth noting:  

  • Audio created an 8% higher level of recall compared to the Dentsu average for all forms of advertising  
  • AM/FM radio is 800% more cost effective than television compared to Dentsu's "attention cost per thousand" benchmark figures 
  • Audio has a 56% greater attentiveness score compared to Dentsu norms. It is also 128% higher than the attentiveness score of television.

These figures were a surprise to many. Plenty of marketers have put audio on the back burner of their efforts and have focused far more attention on their Internet and television marketing efforts. However, figures from these studies suggest that marketers might be taking the exact wrong approach when it comes to reaching the greatest number of consumers possible.

What Do These Results Mean?  

There is a lot to be gleaned from the results found by this attention study. Some of the immediate implications include the following:  

  • AM/FM Radio Advertising is a Must - Often overlooked and thought of as an outdated means of reaching customers, AM/FM radio should be included in the marketing budget of every company in existence. It is remarkably affordable, and this study proves that it remains highly effective.  
  • Audio-Only Ads May be Superior to Visual Ads - There is a long-held myth in the world of marketing that visual ads (i.e., television and online ads) are the only way to reach customers in an effective manner. This study puts that myth to rest. It is simply not the case as audio-only ads have been shown to be far more effective than visual ads in many categories.  
  • Podcast Advertising is Worthwhile - There is an argument to be made that podcast advertising is niche and expensive. In some respects that is accurate, but there is a good argument to be made that podcast advertising is still worth the cost.  

Every marketer should review the results of the Dentsu study and understand what these results mean for their strategy moving forward. 

thumbnail_Radio Dollars Work Harder Than other Media 

The Attention Pathway   

There is a concept put forth by the Association of National Advertisers known as "The Attention Pathway". There are three stages to the attention pathway. They are:  

  • Get Noticed - The first step for any advertiser is to ensure that they get noticed. They need to spring into the minds of as many consumers as possible. Simply raising attention that something exists at all is always the first part of the process.  
  • Hold Attention - It is a challenge to maintain anyone's attention today. There are so many distractions in our world, and it is hard to keep anyone's focus on anything for a long time.  
  • Impact Memory - Once you have captured the customers' attention it is time to start making an impression on them that will be truly lasting and impactful in the long term.  

    These are the three stages of the attention pathway. Knowing that this is the pathway that a successful ad must traverse is something that can aid marketers in creating the kind of effective campaigns that they want.  

Audio Works as Effectively if Not More Effectively Than Video Ads  

The Dentsu study findings were highly surprising to many marketers and others. The study upended common wisdom in the industry that video ads were the best way to reach customers. When it comes to holding the attention of customers and imprinting a long-term memory in their minds, audio ads work amazingly well.  

Here at Mid-West Family, we are seasoned experts at creating memorable audio advertisements that can bolster your ability to reach audiences that you never did before. Our team will be happy to hear your ideas for broadcast radio marketing and produce something that works well for you. This subject is complex and ever-changing. If you have questions about what was discovered in the Dentsu study, feel free to contact us with your question.