July 1983 // Volume 21 // Number 4 // Research in Brief

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Different Extension Announcements


Robert Reisbeck

"Effects of Imagery-Eliciting on Recognition and Recall for Radio Commercials." Leonard N. Reid and Lawrence C. Soley. Journal of Broadcasting, XXVI (Spring, 1982), 567-74.

In radio commercials, descriptive language induces listeners to form a mental image, imagining themselves in particular situations. This is called imagery-eliciting. Research supports the fact that mental imagery helps the mind process information.

Reid and Soley tested whether recognition and recall are better for radio commercials with or without imagery-eliciting instructions. Subjects in the study, 36 housewives, were randomly assigned into 2 equal groups. Each group listened to a different set of 10 specially prepared 20-second commercials interspersed with other commercials that had been recorded from actual radio broadcasts. The prepared commercials played for one group had imagery-eliciting instructions, while those played for the other group were straight announcements. Here are examples of the two types of commercials:

Imagery-eliciting copy: "There you sit on a dark and deserted highway. It's midnight and every second brings a strange sound. You have a flat tire. You wouldn't be in this situation if you had purchased Hermes puncture-proof tires. . . ."
Straight announcement copy: "Hermes puncture-proof tires won't leave you stranded on a dark and deserted highway . . . ."

This study revealed that brand-name recognition and recall were better for announcer-read commercials when imagery-eliciting instructions were used. The results are consistent with other research that indicates memory for processed information is facilitated by mental imagery.

If listener memory is helped by imagery-eliciting radio commercials, why not apply the concept to the promotion of Extension educational programs? Consider this kind of radio announcement:

You've been in this business of ranching for years. And in that time, you've made a living by producing and selling hundreds of calves. But the last few years have gotten tougher and tougher. Costs have gone up while the prices you've received haven't kept pace. You've felt a real squeeze.

Yet there are alternatives-alternative ways to produce higher-value calves, alternative ways of marketing those calves for more profit.

Learn about these alternatives, and how to take advantage of them. Attend the ....