Research reveals that radio can be one of your most powerful allies. A study by the Radio Advertising Bureau in the United Kingdom shows that radio packs an emotional punch. According to the research, radio is the highest scoring medium (compared to TV and online) for increasing both energy and happiness.

Electroencephalogram tests, conducted for the research, found that radio stimulates positive engagement activity in the brain. The tests also confirmed that when ads are preceded by radio editorial, positive engagement is sustained throughout the ad break.

Here are five of the reasons why this would be the case:

1. Community creates a sense of wellbeing

Radio fosters a spirit of community and lifestyle that can create a sense of wellbeing for the listener. Whether it's through humour or common interest, radio tailored for an audience connects people to each other.

Let's take, for example, Mediamark's campaign with Kaya FM. Clients in financial services wanted to implement a campaign that talks to consumers who identify as 'Afropolitan'. The clients chose Kaya FM because the station offers an audience that identify as Afropolitans and that share a bond through this identity.

This community is ready to make an emotional connection with the content shared over the airwaves. Clever marketers are tapping into this connection.

2. A direct connection to a voice on the air

One of the ways radio makes an emotional connection is through the human voice and the personality of the presenter.

Many people are seeking a human touch in the digital world and their ears are attuned to the tone and timbre of the voice. In an era of fake online news, the human voice on the radio is still trusted.

In the financial services company's campaign, it was the voice of one of Kaya FM's presenters and influencers that helped to sell the message. It was the direct bridge between the listener's response and the brand's prime objective.

3. Theatre of the mind

People are overloaded with stimuli and marketing these days. Radio allows its listeners to immerse themselves in a 'theatre of the mind' and use their own imaginations to create a picture from the words and sounds that they are hearing. This can elicit a powerful emotional response.

4. A constant companion

Radio is a comforting presence, with music and on-air banter helping its listeners to navigate day-to-day life. When people are stressed in traffic, they'll tune in to find some music to help them relax or to hear the traffic reports.

At work, vibrant music can infuse the office with energy during a deadline. And many people enjoy some tunes or talk in the background while they do chores at home.

5. Plays well with other channels

The radio experience has always expanded beyond listening at home or in the car. People can engage with radio station news and views through websites and podcasts or follow their favourite presenters on social media. Radio can be the glue binding numerous channels and executions together, amplifying brands' messages and the audience's emotional response.

In the campaign mentioned earlier, the Kaya FM personality's engagement with the social media audience was a key part of the success. The presenter created content and shared it — and it rapidly went viral. Why? Because people know and trust his voice from the radio.

The audience today is looking for authenticity, truth, information and entertainment. Radio still answers these needs in a way that resonates with the listener. Any brand that wants to make a real emotional impact should look at how radio can put a smile on the customer's face.

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