Audio Boom

Testing Radio Advertisements - What TAWNY´s Emotion AI reveals about it 




© Radiozentrale


“Wherever there is advertising, there is emotion”


Our video analysis works for moving images like TV spots, social media clips, or movie trailers. From our facial expressions, the algorithm can tell whether we liked a video or not. When we stand in front of a billboard, our Emotion AI software knows, how long it took us to get the joke.

But what about radio ads? We are talking about an "audio boom" these days. Why shouldn't this industry be just as interesting for us?


According to a recent article in "Horizont", there are currently two contradictory developments in the audio advertising market. While classic radio is losing ground, instream audio advertising e.g., in music streaming and podcasts is growing. Nevertheless, as stated by Christian Scholz, Head of Radio at AS&S, radio remains the "power machine for reach, activation, and image," no matter what developments emerge within the audio market1.


Reach, activation, and image - perfect conditions for advertising. At TAWNY, we launched a project intending to test five different radio ads i.e.,


    • > Coca Cola "Mach' mal Pause mit Coke" (1966)  
    > McDonald's "Nicht mehr alle Tassen im Schrank" 
    > Seitenbacher "Seeeeeitebacher"
    > Radiozentrale "Birthday party"   
    > Radiozentrale "Parrot commentator"



    The goal was to find out, whether and how audio recordings stimulate us emotionally - and in what way the results differ from each other and our video analyses.



    What do we conclude?


    As the illustration shows, our Emotion AI could detect considerable differences in the emotional valence (affection/dislike) of the five radio ads and thus determine one that was best received. 


    Existing research suggests that specific design criteria are identified by the radio industry to create successful advertising. Among the most common design tools used are the “Ear-Opener”, a relatable scenario, appealing background music, and an “Audio-Logo”, all aimed at creating a memorable spot2.


    On the one hand, we suggest that - with regard to the results of our analysis - following the above-mentioned criteria has a positive effect on the emotional impact of an ad. This can be observed as the Parrot ad (right bar in the illustration) generated significantly more positive valence (meeting three criteria) than its counterpart Seitenbacher (using an "audio-logo" only).


On the other hand, we should keep in mind that emotional activation plays an important role - regardless of whether it’s positive or negative.




The illustration on the left shows the emotional trajectory of the Seitenbacher ad. Although the spot only meets one design criterion, it remains known for its iconic Seitenbacher audio logo - potentially making the ad just as memorable.





After all, there are many ways to make an ad stick in the minds of your audience.


Next to video ad testing, there seem to be a lot more opportunities for Emotion AI. As said before: “Wherever there is advertising, there is emotion”, don´t you think? At TAWNY, we have made the first attempt to test audio recordings. And, understanding emotional responses can be key to successfully optimizing respective campaigns, whether the ad comes as a video, billboard, or audio spot...





Want to know more about the results of our project and what we found out about perhaps the most annoying radio spot?


Download the case study below.


Download study
Author: Finja
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