Neuro-research product claims to be a radio advertising ‘gamechanger’

By our News Team | 2023

Understanding emotional engagement to adverts is becoming a more important metric to advertisers, media house says.

Kagiso Media Radio has partnered with the Bureau of Market Research to launch a neuro-research product that it claims will “change the way local businesses advertise their products”.


NextGen Neuro will help clients formulate more effective radio and audio ads, Kagiso Media Radio says. It is part of SA-based Kagiso Media, which owns several local radio stations, including Jacaranda FM and East Coast Radio.

Radio Advertising

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NextGen Neuro uses neuromarketing techniques to measure the physiological and neural signals of an audience to gain insights into why customers make certain buying decisions.


Melissa McNally, Research and Analytics Manager at Kagiso, says her team developed NextGen Neuro after realising that there was a gap in the market for a service that allows brands to test their audio.


“While talking to clients and agencies, we found that understanding emotional engagement to adverts is becoming a more important metric to advertisers. 


A listener-led approach to insights


“Further to this, looking at how consumers want to have a voice when it comes to their brands, we were inspired at [Kagiso Media Radio] to construct a listener-led approach to insights, where co-creation with audiences is promoted in order to create a deeper understanding,” she says in a media statement.


Five radio advertisements from the automotive industry were used to test how things like jingles, the voices used in the advert, and unintentional stereotyping can affect engagement.


“Unlike traditional copy testing, we’re able to establish how the respondent feels about the advert through a physiological response. By using the NextGen Neuro testing, we can predict purchase intent and the general emotional engagement of copy,” explains McNally.


Some of the pilot study’s key findings:


  • Jingles work, especially if they are memorable. But steer clear of being too cliché.
  • Gender matters. But tone, pitch and pronunciation matter more: The calm female voice used in the one advert was cited as being favourable. However, there are some male listeners that still expect females to act within certain gender stereotypes, although this is not common.
  • Age impacts emotional relevance. Younger listeners are less emotionally engaged with adverts, whilst older respondents are more likely to have more negative associations with an advert.

“Brands that appeal to multiple senses are more successful in triggering the brain’s ‘buy’ button. To truly be successful, a campaign or marketing [strategy] should contain every human sense,” McNally says.

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.