The Whole Story: Radio, The Feelgood Format
No communications campaign brief worth its salt omits some kind of definition of emotional tonality. To date, factoring in the emotional when planning and
allocation media spend -- and shaping creative messaging -- has been largely informed by primary qualitative research.
However, USA TouchPoints systematically -- and uniquely -- captures emotional data at scale to enable planners and others to identify the emotional profile of target audiences as it relates to media use, time of day, social setting, activity and location.
This analysis provides a snapshot of the utility of emotional data as it relates to one particular medium and one content format within it: Adult Contemporary AM/FM Radio. Which emotions feature most prominently among listeners while tuning in at different location -- in this case Home, Work and Car?
Interestingly, the top six emotions across the three locations show significant overlap and are all basically net positive, never dipping below Indifference -- which is the mid-point of neutrality on the 17-point emotional scale -- when listening at work. Indeed, Indifference only registers in the top six emotions in the workplace, suggesting that the emotion is perhaps an environmental factor more than a content-driven factor.
The fact that emotions for Adult Contemporary Radio across all three locations is so uniformly positive is particularly noteworthy, as emotions are frequently inconsistent when analyzed in the context of specific media use. Emotions are influenced by situational factors unrelated to the medium and conten: a tough day at work, kids arguing, etc.
However, the power of music to influence mood
and emotion, coupled with the fact that people often use it to both shape and reflect mood, is well documented in an array of both academic and industry research endeavors.
While further analysis into time of day, social settings, narrower audience targets etc. would likely reveal more nuance than this brief analysis of total audience, the format as a whole delivers listeners in a positive frame of mind -- the Feelgood Format -- something planners and creative alike can use to their advantage.
A similar analysis of other formats such as sports and talk – along with other music formats – would also be interesting to identify variance by different situational factors that are relevant to marketers and media planners.