Westwood One 2018

By mentioning the name of a brand within the first few seconds of an ad and then again more frequently than is the norm, the “emotional impact” of the spots was increased. Those are the findings of a study from Westwood One and audio creative testing specialist Veritonic, when testing a major insurance company’s creative campaign.

“Brand early and often,” says the post in Westwood One’s “Everybody’s Listening” blog. The results: The study shows that this insurance company boosted its ad performance purchase intent by +160%.

Nielsen data showed that while insurance brand awareness skews older, those who are actually in the market are much younger–radio’s core audience,” notes Lauren Vetrano, Director of Content Marketing at Cumulus Media & Westwood One.

“TV reaches an older audience, and that’s why adding AM/FM radio to an insurance company media plan fixes TV’s demographic ‘Bermuda Triangle.’”

In 2018, the insurance company in the Veritonic study made strategic changes to its advertising creative that dramatically improved ROI. “They began to mention their name earlier in ads, instead of waiting until the 20-second mark as they had in previous ads,” according to Westwood One. “The insurance company also made a strategic change in the amount of times they mentioned their name. In prior ads, the brand was mentioned only once or twice. In the enhanced branding ads, the name was heard more often. The insurance firm followed the important creative best practice of branding early and often to raise their profile in the ad.”

“Across the board and against any measure”—as Westwood One puts it—the enhanced branding ads performed better than the prior creative. Overall, the total average score of enhanced ads was +9% greater than the prior ads. In addition, happiness, optimism, trustworthiness and likeability all saw growth.

For one, purchase intent sees significant growth after exposure to enhanced branding ads. This is arguably the most important factor for advertisers, WWO points out. “Purchase intent is what influences customers to buy a brand or in this case, use the insurance company for coverage.”

Meanwhile, the average difference in purchase lift from the older ads was actually negative. The creative did not positively impact campaign outcome. And by contrast, enhancing the branding grew the difference in purchase intent by a remarkable +160%. Not only does enhanced branding matter for emotional outcomes, it has a significant impact on influencing customer intention.

“Audio creative is a powerful tool for brands. By incorporating the brand early and often, best practice in creative, brands can stir emotions in potential customers as well as drive purchase intent to impact the bottom line.”