Radio ads recognised for their high level of creativity typically deliver a greater uptick in purchase intent than the norm, according to a study by Westwood One, the audio media company, and Veritonic, the analytics provider.

Scott Simonelli, co-founder/CEO of Veritonic, discussed this project during a session at the Advertising Research Foundation’s (ARF) 2019 AUDIENCExSCIENCE conference.

This study covered 164 radio ads from the Radio Mercury Awards (2015, 2016, 2017 winners; 2018 finalists and winners), Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity (2018 winners) and Clio Awards (2018 winners).

The audio spots recognised in this way out-performed Veritonic’s radio-advertising benchmark, coming in at six points, when it came to boosting purchase intent.

The best performer, with a 28 point-difference in purchase intent, was a spot for VocaliD, a Belmont, Massachusetts-based firm that develops synthetic voices for corporate use and people who have speech difficulties.

“The big takeaway here is that good creative works,” said Simonelli. (For more, read WARC's in-depth report: How creative radio ads build brands.)

“It doesn’t sound like a surprise, but it’s one of those things where you have the line between creativity and science … And this is actually one of those situations where data is liberating creativity,” he continued.

“You’re seeing great measurement, hopefully, opening the door for more creative endeavors and, frankly, better audio creative.”

The Westwood One/Veritonic research tracked the emotional responses and shifts in purchase intent among a panel of 6,003 consumers when hearing these best-in-class commercials.

Another finding was that serious ads delivered more than a ten-point lift in purchase intent, measured against a 6.2-point increase for their humorous counterparts.

This learning questions the typical preference among advertisers, Simonelli noted, to use humour as a way to engage listeners with their radio spots.

“Everybody loves a good, funny ad,” he asserted. “But serious ads, as we looked at … the data, increase purchase intent quite a bit.

“These are award-winning creatives, too,” Simonelli further reminded the ARF assembly. “So, this is not something where somebody is trying to maybe get the point across … in the direct-response way. These are very creative ads.”

Sourced from WARC