Four States Small Business Blog

Eye vs Ear Advertising

Posted by Chad Elliot on October 14, 2020 at 8:00 AM
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radio advertisingWhich is better: Eye or ear advertising? In 2020, an estimated 91.5% of the population listens to radio. Audio content also has a better chance of being passively consumed: that is, listeners may take in information even while they're actively concentrating on something else. Radio remains one of the top advertising mediums, helping you reach a wider variety of people.

Ear advertising has a number of benefits for your business. By carefully considering those benefits, you can better determine whether you should include radio advertising as part of your marketing plan.

The Benefits of Radio Advertising

Radio is the only medium that is true ear advertising. It focuses directly on the auditory senses, with nothing else getting in the way. It offers the opportunity to evoke emotion, reach a specific target audience within a known geographic range, and create an enhanced sense of brand recognition. Audiobooks and podcasts, which utilize similar strategies, are also growing in popularity and offering the chance for more businesses to take advantage of those ads. Fifty-four percent of listeners feel that they are likely to try out a product they have heard advertised on a podcast. This advertising platform is a great way to reach a specific target audience and partner with an influencer--the podcaster--that audience already trusts. As with radio ads, which align your brand with a specific influencer or voice on the radio that your listeners already trust, you can then connect that trust to your brand. 

Shine a Spotlight on Sound

There are a lot of different opportunities to make the most of sound as you create your radio ads. 


How often do you find a catchy jingle stuck in your head on repeat, impossible to escape? Those jingles come courtesy of radio, podcasts, and other auditory mediums. A catchy jingle for your brand can accomplish several things. For businesses that offer highly specific services, it can call your brand and tagline to mind when consumers are considering a need in your industry. 

If, for example, you offer pest control services, a listener might hear your jingle in their mind when they notice bugs creeping through the house. If you offer services or products that listeners may need at any time, such as food or drink, your jingle could increase the consumer's desire for that product and bring them to your business. 


Music has the ability to powerfully evoke emotion in the listener. In many cases, music tells listeners what they're supposed to feel about a specific situation before they even have a chance to think it through. Ominous music can evoke a sense of dread as you talk about the challenges your business can solve, while more positive music connects you to the resolution. Those feelings then get connected to your brand when the listener calls it to mind later. 

Sound Effects

Sound effects help create the final addition to the "theater of the mind." Theater of the mind is a complex, powerful concept that allows advertisers to evoke specific images and scenarios in the minds of their listeners, all through the power of sound alone. Sound effects use familiar sounds and concepts to evoke those images. 

The Power of Combined Eye and Ear Advertising

Not only does radio advertising offer a great deal of power on its own, it can provide even greater ROI when used alongside digital advertising and social media. Integrated advertising can help expand your reach and provide additional touches that help encourage listeners to respond to your ads. For example, you might choose to retarget fans of a particular radio influencer on social media after your ad airs, or to use display ads to help review the concepts brought up in your ads. Utilizing an integrated advertising campaign can substantially increase the overall success of your results, especially when you use radio as one of the tools.

Using radio alongside digital and social media can help expand your reach and get you in front of consumers who might not otherwise have seen or heard your content. Integrated advertising also offers a number of opportunities to expand your message. For example, a listener might hear your message on her morning commute, then sit down at lunch to check her social media and see the ad again, reinforcing the message and encouraging interest in that specific product.

Radio advertising is a powerful tool that can help you reach a wide audience and create a powerful message. Through theater of the mind, you can evoke powerful feelings and images in the minds of your listeners, encouraging them to explore all the benefits of interacting with your product. Working with a media partner can help you better develop your ads and tell a more effective brand story, including giving you a better understanding of exactly what your consumers need. By understanding the benefits of eye versus ear advertising, you can reach your target audience more effectively and determine where to get the maximum ROI for your campaigns. 

Exploring the Power of Jingles

Topics: Radio Advertising