The Asociació Catalana de Ràdio Conference at UIC Barcelona demonstrates the advertising effectiveness of the media

“The radio will make you fall in love if you listen and allow yourself to fall in love with it,” Rebeca Pardo, dean of the UIC Barcelona Faculty of Communication Sciences said during the conference “Success of Radio Advertising,” organised by the Asociació Catalana de Ràdio [Catalan Radio Association] in collaboration with the Generalitat de Catalunya, with support of EGTA, World Radio Alliance, MediaHotLine, and Radiocentre.

The institutional welcome was given by Carles Cuní, president of the Asociación Catalana de Ràdio (ACR), who highlighted that this year is the Association’s 30th anniversary. “If we continue to be useful to society, if we are able to entertain and inform people, I am very optimistic about the future ahead of us,” he said.

Francesc Robert, director of Atresmedia Radio in Catalonia, secretary of the ACR, and lecturer at UIC Barcelona, started off the event. He stressed that radio continues to be the most credible media and that there are tools that demonstrate campaign effectiveness and investment performance attribution.

Robert was followed by Thierry Mars, radio director at EGTA, a Brussels-based association that supports the radio marketing for entities and businesses in Europe and the rest of the world. Mars explained the importance of radio in promoting businesses. He pointed out that radio reaches daily more than 70% of the population in Europe and that radio listeners tune in on average three hour every day. He highlighted the importance of creativity to increase sales and explained that radio is the media that respects the environment most, because it generates the least amount of CO.

Montserrat Vidal-Mestre, PhD in Communication Sciences, and Head of Audiovisual Communication Studies at UIC Barcelona, as an expert in audio branding, spoke on “The persuasive power of sound: audio branding success stories.” “Associating a sound with a brand is a powerful tool. Sound can find its way into our unconscious mind, to impact us without us even realising it. It's an opportunity to get into the minds of our consumers,” he stressed. He gave several examples of sonotypes, jingles, songs and brand voices so that participants could identify what brand it was. According to surveys, 75% of the time listeners remember the product category of the brands, while 38% are able to recognise what brand it is.

Lucy Barrett, president of the World Radio Alliance (WRA) and customer manager at Radiocentre (industry body for commercial radio in the UK) also spoke. Barrett talked about how to get advertisers to see radio differently. “We need people to re-evaluate radio,” she said. Barrett stressed the difference between the perception and the reality of radio effectiveness and shared success stories and tools to demonstrate this effectiveness. She emphasised that 88% of the population in England listens to the radio every week. She pointed out that radio advertising is effective and that 52% of people who hear an advertisement about something they are interested in on the radio look for that product online.

A panel discussion followed with Thierry Mars, Lucy Barrett and Enric Yarza of MediaHotline, moderated by Montse Bonet, lecturer and secretary of the UAB School of Communication Sciences. The speakers all agreed on the importance of better leveraging audience data and discussed ways to finance radio, in addition to assessing the future of radio.

Finally, Oriol Duran, secretary of the Media and Broadcasting of the Generalitat de Catalunya and UIC Barcelona Alumni, closed the conference. “Catalonia is exceptional for the work it does on the radio. Today someone told me that a hundred years ago radio was young and now that it is about to celebrate one hundred years, I think it continues to be exceptional.” Duran added, “Audio continues to be present and all businesses and institutions clearly understand that it has to continue to exist and it has to serve to continue informing.”