Katz Study: Radio Sound Bites Elicit Visual Recall
July 18, 2012
Katz Marketing Solutions has announced its findings from a new study of advertisers' sonic brands and their impact on communicating brand messaging and eliciting emotional responses. The study quantified the communication and emotional impact of sound bites of top U.S. advertisers, such as McDonald’s, Mazda, OldSpice, Pillsbury and others, and found that these sounds definitely do elicit brand recall.
The intended goal was to measure both the ability of these sounds to communicate a brand message and to generate emotions. The study tested familiar sounds such as the NBC chimes; music used in commercials; or the voice of the brand's spokesperson. Two hundred and fifty respondents listened to each short snippet and answered three key questions: Do you know the company or brand that uses this sound in its advertising? What message comes to mind when you hear this sound? What pops in your head when you hear this sound and how does that make you feel?
The findings showed that many respondents provided detailed descriptions of the advertisers' product, benefits and pricing, as well as visual details, such as vivid descriptions of the spokesperson and mascot. Many respondents included the advertisers' exact slogan, which was not present in the tested audio.
"The results confirm the incredible power of sound," said Katz Marketing Solutions President Bob McCurdy. "With this research, we have a better understanding of how sound impacts what we see, how we feel and what we consume. Even a brief one or two seconds of sound can trigger powerful brand messaging and explicit visual images, which means radio can be an extremely influential tool for advertisers. Sound can create an emotional response to the point of impacting us physiologically. For instance, just hearing a fast food advertiser's sonic brand can make someone hungry. Not only that, it can also induce specific visual images of a hot, sizzling pizza. This confirms what we've known for some time, that radio provides advertisers the benefit of the visual at audio prices."