NEWS: Ad slots irrelevant, radio report says

The position of a radio ad in a commercial break makes no impact on recall, according to a new study.

The position of a radio ad in a commercial break makes no impact on

recall, according to a new study.

Housewives recall radio commercials within an ad break equally,

irrespective of where they ran in that break, the report says.

Brand recall for a first-in-break ad was 21 per cent compared with 22

per cent elsewhere in the break, the study reveals. Total spontaneous

recall of all commercials within a conventional advertising break was 25

per cent, while total spontaneous recall of all commercials within a

Newslink commercial break in the news was 35 per cent.

The findings are from Ironing Board 2, a joint research project from the

radio sales house, Media Sales and Marketing, and Independent Radio


Commissioned by IRN, the study is an update of the inaugural Ironing

Board study, which was first carried out by Saatchi and Saatchi 15 years

ago and has served as a benchmark for radio research since.

Ironing Board 2 assessed how the changes in the radio market since 1980

have affected housewives’ ability to recall radio messages.

Housewives were individually invited to test a new starch product by

ironing clothes for a period of 15 minutes on weekday mornings. In the

background a pre-recorded tape of Capital Radio was played,

incorporating a conventional break containing four commercials. A

Newslink advertising spot was broadcast, as always, solus within the IRN


Real radio ads were used but each was at least two years old and was not

currently appearing on the radio. Ads were rotated through different

positions and places, to find out which was more effective.

Denise Perry, head of radio at Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, said: ‘The

first Ironing Board study was so old that it was difficult to take it

seriously. It’s very encouraging to see from this that people do listen

to commercials and consume the message.’

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