Why emotive equals effective

Whatever the medium, creative advertising helps cut-through. But here's why emotive writing is never more crucial than on radio

How does this make you feel?

Agency : M&C Saatchi | Creatives : Simon Dicketts / Angela Jones / David Graham-Dao 

If it triggered the feels, there’s a reason for that, which I’ll come to in a bit. First, this nugget, from a study called Hear & Now by Neuro Insight / RadioCentre : ‘people feel twice as happy when listening to the radio compared to when they are not consuming any media. This mood-boosting effect is proven to enhance engagement with advertising’.   

"Music is the shorthand of emotion" – Leo Tolstoy

The report referenced another RadioCentre study called The Emotional Multiplier, which suggests that ‘messages with an emotional appeal have a stronger effect, and a bigger return on investment, than those which rely purely on rational argument. Ads which work at the emotional level are processed heuristically rather than systematically, and this kind of processing is strongly influenced by context – where we see/hear the message, the quality of the message, and the mood we are in when we receive it’. 

But here’s the really revealing part : ‘Studies suggest that the happier we are – the better a mood we are in – the more likely we are to process messages in this heuristic way’. So what are the take-outs from all this?

  1. Unsurprisingly, messages that work on an emotional level are more likely to cut through the noise
  2. If that message is an audio message and it isn’t emotive, the advertiser is missing an almighty trick