Audio advertising content is a strong channel for triggering brand identification in consumers -- rivaling and even exceeding visual content in some cases.
A new study Katz Marketing Solutions examined the audio components of television commercials for 14 major brands, including Apple, Capital One, CoverGirl, Diet Pepsi, DirectTV and Warner Brothers. The research team removed all audio and visual brand references from the commercials, which were then played in audiovisual and audio-only form for 300 study subjects. The subjects were asked to identify the brand, as well as the moment in the commercial when they were able to correctly guess which brand it was.
Audio content was responsible for 93% as much brand identification as visual ad content, and in some cases, was a stronger trigger of brand identification than visual ad content.
In one such case, one-quarter of the respondents who were exposed to a Taco Bell TV clip referred to visual cues as the brand trigger, while 55% referred to the Taco Bell “bong” as the brand trigger.
Likewise, among subjects who were shown a Duracell TV ad, 50% more cited the three-note Duracell audio signature as the brand trigger than any of the visual stimuli. For Outback TV ads, the narrator’s voice was a stronger brand trigger than any visual element.
The Katz study also found that advertising audio content can produce similar levels of emotional engagement as visual content, with subjects reporting comparable responses to audio and visual content across various categories, including movies (“The Hobbit”), cosmetics (CoverGirl) and food (Taco Bell).
According to Katz Marketing Solutions President Bob McCurdy, advertisers can amplify the effects of TV advertising with radio: “Marketers often allocate large sums of ad dollars to broadcast television commercials, which results in the creation of tremendous audio equity -- a brand’s audio logo or signature -- that can continue to carry the marketing punch of a television commercial. This data strongly supports the strategic and creative use of radio to supplement a television campaign.”