At NPR, Sponsor Messages Are 23% More Memorable

September 2018

NPR commissioned a study by Neuro-Insight to demonstrate the effectiveness of sponsor messages in comparison to traditional radio ads. The results? NPR’s sponsor messages are 23% more memorable than traditional radio ads. Here’s why:

  • Sponsor messages on NPR are crafted to fit NPR’s straightforward tone and approach and appeal to our unique audience.
  • NPR’s uncluttered environment means that sponsors don’t have to compete with the volume and noise of ads on commercial airwaves to be heard.
  • And sponsor messages resonate — 72% of NPR listeners think better of companies that sponsor NPR.*

In every NPR environment – from radio to smart speakers – audiences expect an authentic, unintrusive message from brands. It may be different, but it works.

The Results

Source: Neuro-Insight, NPR Sponsorship Effectiveness Study, 2018.

To learn more about the survey, see methodology below: 

  • 100 public radio listeners were recruited to participate in the research at Neuro-Insight’s New York facility.
  • Each participant listened to either 30 minutes of NPR content with typical sponsor credits (total of 50 participants) or 30 minutes of commercial news radio with typical advertising (total of 50 participants).  The same mix sponsor/advertiser product categories were used in both types of content. The “Radio Ad Database” is the average of roughly 100 radio ads tested by Neuro-Insight.
  • While listening, they viewed video of a New York street scene to replicate the experience of listening to the radio while riding in a car.

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  • As they listened, respondents’ neurological reaction to the audio was recorded via Neuro-Insight’s Steady State Topography Technology, a methodology that has been peer reviewed and published in the International Journal of Advertising and other scientific journals.
  • The key metric resulting from the analysis of the neurological reaction is “memory encoding.”  This metric has been shown to correlate with decision-making and purchase intent.
  • For more information on Neuro-Insight and their methodology, see

Source: Neuro-Insight, NPR Sponsorship Effectiveness Study, 2018. *Lightspeed Research, NPR Sponsorship Survey, 2018