Radio Bite: An opportunity to stand out


Radio is a powerful and often underutilised platform for advertisers. During these unprecedented times, our Radio Bites series will give compelling reasons for brands to continue to be heard on the airwaves and why consumers will be listening.

You’re walking down the street and you see a sea of grey suits in front of you. Among the suits is one yellow suit. You can’t help but notice this yellow suit standing out in a sea of grey.

This is known as the Isolation Effect, or the Von Restorff Effect. It was discovered in Von Restorff’s 1933 paper that when an item in a list differs from the other items within the same list it is more likely to be remembered. Take the following list for example:









If I asked you to recall these items, you would be more likely to remember ‘JL’ than the other items. This happens because the letters are different and therefore they stand out.

This effect can be harnessed to improve your advertising. When an ad stands out and catches someone’s attention, they are more likely to remember it afterwards. An easy way to do this without requiring loads of bells and whistles, is simply to do something a little different.

While it can be helpful to look to other great radio ads for inspiration and be aware of what competitors are doing, it’s also important to know that doing more of the same will not necessarily help your ad get noticed. Not only is it boring for the listener, but it can hinder the effectiveness of the messaging.

Using consistent audio branding devices can help advertisers be more distinctive from their competitors: in The Power of You IPSOS revealed that audio branding is 3x as effective as visual branding on average but it is currently used by only 8% of advertisers.

At the moment, it’s particularly important to get the tone right, but think about how you can truly represent the brand that you are working with. What’s different about it? What do people like most about it? What is its heritage? Once you’ve thought about these things, use them to make your ad stand out from the crowd.

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