radioGAUGE works with Creative teams to make better ads

radioGAUGE works with Creative teams to make better ads

One of the objectives of radioGAUGE is to help get more effective creative work on radio, writes Mark Barber, Planning Director of RAB UK.

radioGAUGE achieves this through the 5i’s creative analysis technique, a framework initially developed by UK RAB for helping advertisers to judge radio creative ideas. Like all frameworks, it’s not perfect or exhaustive but it has been proven to be a good indicator of campaign effectiveness. 

The 5i’s explore:


Will people notice and engage with the ad; will it draw in the target audience?


Will people recognise and remember who the ad is from?


Will the ad help maintain or build on existing perceptions of the brand? 


Will people clearly understand the message being communicated?


Will people hear the ad as part of a wider media campaign, and therefore will it benefit from a multiplier effect?

The 5i’s have been incorporated into radioGAUGE to help understand the role of the creative execution in delivering the effectiveness results for the campaign. This is achieved by playing the ad to every respondent and asking them to score it against 11 creative diagnostic statements which link back to create a unique 5i’s score for every ad.

All of the statements have an equal impact on the ‘I’ that they relate to, the only exception being “annoying” where we use the difference between the score and the maximum score of 10, e.g. for an ad that people score 3.4 on “annoying” we apply a score of 6.6 alongside the other statements that make up the total “Impression” score (in this way an ad that is deemed not annoying will naturally end up with a more favourable “Impression” score).

Whilst there is a degree of interpretation with some of these statements, experience in the UK across 500+ campaigns measured since radioGAUGE launched in 2008 suggests that on the whole, they are interpreted in the manner intended. And the UK research is also able to demonstrate a categorical link between a high 5i’s score and better campaign performance in terms of effectiveness measures.

In terms of the detail, if an ad does not contain elements referred to in the creative diagnostic statements then that particular ‘I’ will show a low score. This does not mean that the creative execution is judged to be poor, but provides a structured framework to discuss the relative merits of the ad, and identify areas where it could be improved, if appropriate.

We understand that it’s all about the context – for example, if an ad scores low on Integration it could be because it was a stand-alone campaign, no other media was being used, or it really didn’t carry over any elements from other media into the radio, which can then stimulate a debate about whether it was appropriate or not to do so. Often this 5i’s-centred debate identifies weaknesses in the brief that have hampered the creative execution, or suggests minor evolutions to the radio work in the context of the wider media campaign.

Our experience in the UK is that when Creatives attend radioGAUGE debriefs, initially they are ‘suspicious’ of research that purports to ‘measure’ creativity. However, the debriefs always start by highlighting the strengths of the current creative execution before highlighting potential areas for improvement (if identified). By the end of most debriefs Creatives are sitting forward actively and positively engaged in the debate that the 5i’s framework has helped stimulate.

radioGAUGE does not profess to have ‘the answer’ when it comes to creative work but it does provide helpful stimulus to help all creative stakeholders (client and agency) be confident about how they are currently using the medium or to develop ideas about how to get more from their use of radio in the future.

Comments are closed.