Radiocentre, the trade body for British radio, said its new research, called Radio: The Brand Multiplier, shows how radio advertising "expands a brand’s network of mental associations and increases share of mind for a brand, significantly increasing the effect of brand communication over TV alone".
Radiocentre said it took its inspiration from Australian academic Professor Byron Sharp who has argued in his books How Brands Grow, parts 1 and 2, that brands that spring easily to mind largely determine what we buy and that they must appeal to light buyers to grow.
Independent research agency Differentology tested ads for six consumer goods brands on six groups of 600 people and compared the effect of two TV ads with one TV ad and two audio ads.
While two TV ads helped to boost the average number of times a consumer would consider a brand, one TV ad and two audio ads had an additional 6% benefit, and was about 15% cheaper – making radio more than 20% more cost effective.
Radiocentre added that "multiple radio executions" and "distinctive audio assets" also helped a brand to stand out in audio.
The trade body said it carried out the research to demonstrate to FMCG advertisers that radio is not just a tactical and promotional medium but can also build brands.
Mark Barber, Radiocentre’s planning director, said: "For many years we’ve been promoting radio’s suitability for brand-building campaigns and this study is the final piece of the jigsaw, providing robust evidence of radio’s effect on brand metrics to support the theory.
"I hope the findings and the practical guidance it provides gives more advertisers the confidence to fully exploit radio’s brand-building capabilities."
Mike Gordon, chief commercial officer at Global Radio, the owner of Capital, Heart and Classic, said: "Byron Sharp has taught us that the best way to grow brands is to make them easier to buy, making them more physically and crucially, mentally available in buying situations.
"This excellent study from Radiocentre now shows us that advertisers can achieve this increase in salience quite simply by adding radio to TV plans."