Transference of Trust

July 2022

“Transference of Trust: Driving Purchase Intent & Brand Equity” aims to understand the inherent trust equity associations of NPR and measure the effectiveness of delivering CSR messaging through the platform in comparison to TV news. This ground-breaking new study from NPR and Neuro-Insight explores what the subconscious can tell us about purchase intent, the effectiveness of NPR radio sponsorship vs. TV news and how a platform can transfer trust to its sponsors.

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Brands need trust. Second only to price and affordability, trust is the most important attribute that influences consumers’ buying decisions.¹ Yet less than half of brands are seen as trustworthy, and 72% of consumers don’t think brands will deliver on their promises.¹ So, how do brands establish trust? 

  • Memorable messages: With increased consumer awareness and emphasis on the roles of companies as global actors and change makers, corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become a core driver of trust. 
  • Trusted Platforms: Where a brand shares their marketing messages plays a role in transferring trust by association. Associating with a trusted media brand can help build trust and ultimately lead to purchase intent and increased brand value.

NPR worked with Neuro-Insight to measure unconscious trust in NPR, and to reveal insights on what brand messages are effective at making a lasting impression.

Among the Key Findings

NPR Radio Drives Trust

NPR owns key attributes that drive trust: ethics, reliability, relevance, and accuracy. When compared against competing TV news, three of four of these associations were significantly stronger than TV news platforms.

NPR Effective vs. TV News

Amongst all messages tested, NPR proved a highly effective platform for CSR messaging, with overall memorability and branding memorability higher on average for NPR sponsor messages vs. TV news platforms.

NPR Offers Transfer of Trust

The platform through which brands communicate with their consumers is almost as important as the message.
Audio — specifically NPR radio in this case — gives brands a 13% lift in memorability at branding vs. TV news.

Watch the Transference of Trust Webinar

What We Did

Phase 1: Leveraging Implicit Association Testing (IAT) data using Neuro-Insight’s proprietary nPLICIT™ methodology, the study measured the strength of associations between brands and equities using timed response. Unlike surveys, nPLICIT™ technology is able to filter subconscious associations from conscious responses to identify the true feelings people have about brands. Participants (all NPR listeners) were shown screens with a series of attributes alternated with target brand logos and asked to match brand logos with equity attributes. The goal was to measure correctness and speed of associations, as they are determinants of memorability and trust of NPR versus other TV news platforms.

Results: The study found that NPR owns key attributes that drive trust – ethics, reliability, relevance, and accuracy. And when pinned against competing TV news, 3 of 4 of these associations were significantly stronger for NPR than TV news platforms.


Phase 2: Next, the study set out to answer whether NPR provides a unique advantage to deliver CSR messaging versus competing TV news. To measure this, Neuro-Insight used their patented Steady State Topography technology to measure the speed of activity in different regions of the brain while participants were exposed to both CSR and non-CSR content on NPR’s platform versus competing TV news platforms.


Results: Amongst all ads tested, NPR proved a highly effective platform for CSR messaging, with overall ad memorability and branding moment memorability higher on average for NPR ads vs. TV news platforms.

The Bottom Line

Combining Phase One and Phase Two tells us that NPR is a trusted news source – more so than competing TV news. Higher consumer trust is leading to more successful branding moments in sponsored messages as well as more effective CSR messaging. So, while the content of CSR messaging remains important, the platform through which brands communicate with their consumers is almost as important – the study finds that trust transfers from platform to brand. Audio, and specifically NPR in this case, gave brands a 13% lift vs. TV news. Good news for brands tightening budgets and looking to stretch their media dollars!

Download the Report

Complete the form below to receive a PDF of “Transference of Trust: Driving Purchase Intent & Brand Equity.”

About NPR

NPR’s rigorous reporting and unsurpassed storytelling connect with millions of Americans every day — on the air, online, and in person. NPR strives to create a more informed public — one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas, and cultures. With a nationwide network of award-winning journalists and 17 international bureaus, NPR and its Member Stations are never far from where a story is unfolding. Listeners can find NPR by tuning in to their local Member stations (, and now it’s easy to listen to stories on smart speaker devices. Ask your smart speaker to, “Play NPR,” and you’ll be tuned into your local Member station’s live stream. Your speaker can also access NPR podcasts, the NPR One skill, NPR News Now, and Visual Newscast is available for screened speakers. Get more information at and by following NPR Extra on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Neuro-Insight 

Neuro-Insight is the world’s preeminent neuromarketing and neuro analytics firm with a global reach of 60+ cities in 30+ countries. Neuro-Insight solves the most vexing problems for businesses by tapping into the deep and overlooked reservoir of subconscious human motivations, emotions, and intuition that influence behavior. Neuro-Insight’s patented and validated SST – Steady State Topography is the industry-leading award-winning brain mapping tech that measures second-by-second long term memory encoding, personal relevance, emotional intensity and lean in/out responses as people consume any stimulus on any platform. Clients include brands like Samsung, Mastercard, T-Mobile, Unilever, Toyota, Ford, Diageo, GSK and publishers and broadcasters like NBCU, Disney, Viacom, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, iHeart, Pandora, Forbes, Conde Nast, and Ocean Outdoor. 

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