RAEL Keeps It Real, Finds Ethnic Listeners Receptive To Radio Ads

Black and Spanish-speaking Hispanic radio listeners are more receptive to radio advertising than white listeners, according to a study released Wednesday from the Radio Ad Effectiveness Laboratory (RAEL).

The study examined the emotional connection and consumer perceptions of radio advertising in comparison with television, newspapers and the Internet. It found that radio advertising is perceived as significantly more personally relevant to listeners than advertising in other media.

The results, however, are skewed heavily toward African-American and Hispanic (particularly Spanish-language dominant) communities.

"[Radio] becomes a forum for conversation that resonates with the Hispanic and African-American [listener]," says Ilia Leon, director of multicultural media for ZenithOptimedia unit ZO Multicultural. "They say things that resonate with what you know. There is a more personal connection with the audience. If you laugh along with the chatter in the morning, you'll listen to the commercial that follows it more closely."

The study highlighted key emotional connections in which radio, as entertainment, outdistances other forms of media: mood improvement, relaxation, motivation, comfort and as a catalyst for a good time. However, media buyers will likely hone on the high opinion that radio ads hold with Black and Hispanic listeners.

In practically every category, ethnic listeners said that radio advertising more closely touched their lives and emotions than did white listeners. Blacks and Hispanics felt that radio ads were more honest, more fun and reached both targeted listeners and the interview subject better than any of the other media forms. The length of radio commercials was the only area in which there was a reverse discrepancy--Hispanic respondents said radio ads were anything but concise.

Overall, respondents said that radio advertising outdistanced all other forms of media in every one of the above categories.

The study interviewed 2,649 individuals ages 18 to 54 through randomly dialed telephone calls in June and July 2006.

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