Radio’s ‘feelgood’ effect


Consumers are turning to radio as a lifestyle support system to help them feel better as they go about their daily lives according to Ilsa Grabe, business unit head at leading South African media agency Carat.

“Video has definitely not killed radio’s star as predicted in a pop song some years ago. On the contrary – rather than the peaks and troughs that people have claimed to experience with TV and the internet, radio provides a consistent environment themed and shaped to suit the listener’s needs at any given time of day, and one that is generally upbeat in tone,’ she says.

Grabe notes that a study done in UK called “Media and the Mood of the Nation’, which used heart monitors to measure response alongside qualitative and quantitative research, found that people who regularly listened to the radio were happier and had more energy than those who did not.

As a media strategist who helps brands plan more effective advertising campaigns by providing insights reached from studying consumer behaviour, Grabe says “connected’ consumers – across the platforms of TV, radio and online – were generally more positive in the study.

But, advertisers need to be aware that of the three, radio is the most powerful “emotional multiplier’, boosting consumer happiness and enhancing receptiveness to advertising.

Grabe continues: “Of the three media channels, radio generated the highest happiness and energy levels on the highest number of occasions. For instance, when listening to the radio, the average happiness and energy scores increased by 100% and 300% compared to when no media was being consumed.

“This mood-boosting effect of radio editorial extends into the ad break, generating 30% higher levels of positive engagement with radio over other advertising channels. Thus radio represents a unique and powerful vehicle through which to reach consumers in a positive frame of mind, when they will be more receptive to advertising messages.’

In a South African-based survey conducted by Carat on the consumer connection with various media types, it was revealed that across the wealth and social spectrum, finances, family and work were the most thought about by consumers when consuming radio in the morning.

The 2011 Consumer Connection Survey studied 3000 adult consumers from across South Africa and in all socio- economic categories (LSM 4 to 10) on how they connected with 63 individual media formats – including newspapers, magazines, radio, television and Internet.


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