SmoothFM uses neuroscience to measure ad engagement

Rachael Micallef
By Rachael Micallef | 4 February 2015

Does content impact engagement with advertising? Nova has commissioned what it is calling the “biggest neuroscience radio research project in the world” in a bid to prove to advertisers its Smooth format is the right mix for ad reception.

The study, commissioned by Nova’s in-house integration team Create, was conducted by Neuro-Insights to find out the impact of its “relaxed” Smooth format from an engagement and advertising point of view.

It found that SmoothFM’s audience is 11% more engaged in ad breaks than its competitors, and 8% more engaged with its programming content in general. The study found women, Smooth's key demographic, are 10% more engaged in the Smooth content than with competitor stations. This results in 160% stronger conversion into memory encoding.

The research measured 115 billion data points by studying the electrical brain patterns of 400 participants hearing real time content from Smooth and four direct competitors: WSFM, Kiis, 2Day and Triple M.

Neuro-Insights director Peter Pynta said the study also looked at how much the ad break engagement can be explained by the program engagement.

“There really is a transfer of engagement from the program into the ad break,” Pynta said. “The same ad in two different program environments can be processed very differently as a function of how engaging the program environment is.”

He said the Smooth FM memory encoding or potential for that to be stored in long term memory is 92% more influenced by content and ad break engagement than for competitors.

Head of create Kate Day said neuroscience was chosen by the network because it could stand up to scrutiny.

“It has an objective and scientific nature,” Day said. “The results are factual and real, so it removes any chances of data manipulation.

“There’s no other media brand in Australia created around the feeling of relaxation – we believe this unique program format is our point of difference and is the key reason our audience is so highly engaged with our content,” Day added.

Did you catch our previous neuroscience-related piece with Richard Silberstein who works as a part-time professor and leads an internationally operating company in neuroscience? Check it out :Conceptual closure can kill television ads.

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