A new study sheds light on the role that ad frequency plays in audience engagement. | Daily News Podcast


How many times does a spot need to be run to achieve the client’s desired goal? And when does an audio ad wear out? To get the answers to these and other questions, advertising agency Spark Foundry and Audacy worked with research agency Alter Agents on a neuroscience study to show how listeners’ brains experience spikes in content and audio erosion. Released on Tuesday, the study found that ad engagement increases with each audio exposure across advertiser categories, audio platforms and genres.

In what’s called a groundbreaking study, Alter Agents used smartwatches to capture participants’ varying heart rate, which is the distance between heartbeats. This was used to measure emotional engagement and responsiveness, also known as immersion.

Spark Foundry provided samples of audio spots from clients in the retail, financial services and fast food categories. A nationwide sample of people aged 18-54 was exposed for a week to a random rotation of audio content and ads up to 15 times. Ads were given an immersion score, with higher scores indicating greater likelihood of future action and peak moments corresponding to long-term recall.

Key Takeaways: Exposing audiences to audio messaging consistently delivers major benefits in terms of brand equity and sales.

“What this tells us is that frequency itself can be an important tool in helping to understand what an audio plane can do,” Adam Weiler, executive vice president of data, technology, said Tuesday. , analysis and information at Spark Foundry. webinar to discuss the results of the study.

“Exposing audiences to messaging consistently and frequently delivers real resounding benefits, both in terms of brand equity growth and sales – top-of-funnel to bottom-of-funnel,” Paul Suchman said. , Marketing Director of Audacy. “Audio advertising has a unique ability to grab our attention, hold our attention, and spur us to action.”

The study produced a somewhat counter-intuitive conclusion that people are immersed in advertising messages. And that the more the frequency increases, the more the immersion increases. “The more you expose people to an audio ad, the more attentive they become, the more they anchor themselves to the content,” said Idil Cakim, senior vice president of research and insights at Audacy. This trend held across all ad categories and audio platforms, including live radio, streaming, and podcasting.

Weiler said that “this speaks to the effectiveness of audio as a strategy…Even if your heavier listeners are exposed at a higher rate, we don’t necessarily see a significant drop,” Weiler added. “In fact, we’re seeing continued engagement as the frequency increases.”

Immersion levels for the spots tested averaged 59-60 on a scale of zero to 100 where the higher the score, the more immersed participants are in the content. That’s significantly higher than the advertising industry average of 53.

The study also found that as immersion increases with additional ad exposure, purchase consideration and positive brand opinion also increase.

Using a tracking survey, the researchers then measured key performance indicators for the brands studied, such as brand sentiment and purchase intent.

“I think there are just some great learnings for advertisers in this space,” said Devora Rogers, chief innovation officer at Alter Agents. “There really is an opportunity to keep people engaged over a period of time that may be longer than what was anticipated.”

Weiler pointed out that the study’s findings don’t mean media planners shouldn’t pay attention to other variables, such as audience targeting, context, ad category and media channels. “These are just directional findings that help us understand that emotional engagement can increase with increased frequency,” he said.

Weiler also noted that the study does not directly prove that radio drives sales. “What it does is help us understand that radio is very effective at getting people through [the purchase funnel] and advance your potential targets on their journey,” he said. “Audio is an important aspect that has the ability to drive consumers through the funnel and bring them closer to the point of purchase.”


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