RadioGAUGE proves that radio advertising works in South Africa

RadioGAUGE proves that radio advertising works in South Africa

The ground breaking findings from the first three waves of the South African Radio Advertising Bureau’s (RAB) RadioGAUGE effectiveness research have been released.

They reveal that on average the brand campaigns tested so far in South Africa outperform the creative impact benchmarks for 400+ radio campaigns already tested in the UK.

Jason Brownlee from Dollywagon Media Sciences which formulated the original UK study and is now providing ongoing analysis of RadioGAUGE: South Africa research results says:

“The RadioGAUGE Ad Credibility Benchmark data so far suggests that consumers in South Africa are more likely than their counterparts in the UK to perceive radio as an advertising medium that is good at conveying a brand’s personality and values.”

Building on this, RAB South Africa General Manager Norman Gibson adds that the beauty of the South African study is its capacity to provide focused findings that allow South African brands to better understand how their radio advertising campaigns perform.

RadioGAUGE has been able to provide broader learnings about the medium that can show any advertiser how to get better results from radio.

Gibson comments, “it’s not just a case of saying we feel this is how you should approach the medium, we now know what’s best for a radio campaign. This is because hundreds of consumers have told us during our in-depth research interviews just what makes a radio message resonate with them allowing us to provide proper insight, based on solid effectiveness research.”

Solid evidence of the depth of insight RadioGAUGE provides is drawn from the second campaign tested by RadioGAUGE for a broadcast brand.

This test revealed not only that radio successfully reached a brand’s target market that was highly receptive to information about its services, but that radio advertising was also able to reach efficiently the key decision makers within households for this particular brand category.

However, RadioGAUGE also strives to be as balanced as possible and reveal all aspects of a campaign’s performance.

The same brand campaign study revealed that a poor standard of creative execution in the brand’s radio campaign led to a negative effect on listeners’ perceptions of the brand, resulting in an reduced level of campaign effectiveness.

Uniquely, RadioGAUGE was also able to recommend what actions could be taken to improve the creative’s performance for the brand’s next radio campaign.

This adds credence to the view that pre-production for radio advertising needs more attention with careful thought given to the use of voice over artists. Using too many different voices within the individual ad executions that made up this campaign was perceived by listeners as confusing and unnecessary.

A key learning here is the need for consistency of message and creative delivery throughout every radio campaign.

Another interesting finding, this time from the first wave of research on a cellular mobile network brand, revealed how Radio’s ‘virtual TV’ effect made a very cost-efficient contribution towards maintaining a cellular network brand’s market-leading awareness and ‘share of mind’ scores.

This case study provided evidence of radio’s unique ability to establish strong emotional bonds with an audience, and how this media effect can rub-off onto an advertiser’s brand.

The study demonstrated Radio’s unique ability to imbue brands with perceptions of greater emotional ‘warmth’ i.e. people exposed to the brand’s radio advertising tended to feel ‘warmer’ about the brand.

Gibson says it is precisely these kinds of invaluable findings that show just how worthwhile the RadioGAUGE study is.

“Finally we have concrete evidence backed by solid research data which not only proves that the medium works but also provides key learnings on how advertisers can increase their return on their radio spend. Our aim now is to take those lessons and guide advertisers as to what they should be doing as part of our mandate of championing radio in South Africa”.

RadioGAUGE key findings at a glance:

  • Radio is able to reach a target market that is more receptive to a particular brand message
  • Radio can target customers with a message right at the time they are considering a purchase
  • Radio is able to reach the key decision makers within households for a particular brand category
  • Poor creative has a negative effect on listener perception/views leading to poor results and the reduced effectiveness of a campaign
  • There needs to be consistency of message & creative delivery
  • Radio’s ‘virtual TV’ effect makes a highly cost-efficient contribution towards maintaining brand awareness and ‘share of mind’ scores
  • Radio has a unique ability to establish strong emotional bonds with an audience and imbue them with perceptions of greater emotional ‘warmth’

For more information about Radio Gauge: South Africa, contact

Norman Gibson on (011) 325 4935 or email

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