Thought Leadership

All Ears for Creativity – 4 of the Best Audio Campaigns We Heard in 2019

March 10, 2020
By Nina Harvey O'Connor

More so than ever, brands are finding programmatic audio to be an effective and exciting way to connect with target audiences. From brand recall to higher engagement and greater response rates, the value proposition of audio is making itself heard. Consequently, ad budgets are moving over to digital audio formats at an increasing rate: 85 percent of advertisers will increase investment in digital audio this year.

With technology catching up to audio’s growth, audio platforms are becoming more creative and dynamic than ever before. From campaigns by companies like A Million Ads to Frequency, here are some of the most creative programmatic audio campaigns we’ve heard that are worth a listen.

1) Frequency’s Campaign for European Wax Center

Looking for new ways to bring attention to the hundreds of centers they operate around the United States, the Health & Wellness brand European Wax Center paired up with Frequency, audio’s first Creative Management Platform, to run dynamic creative, providing their target audience personalized audio ads and directing listeners to their nearest Health & Wellness centers. 

Using the geo-location of the listener in proximity to the centers, Frequency is able to identify exactly which center to recommend, providing the right creative at the right time. A listener’s message could even change per city block. European Wax Center has now been running with the Frequency technology for over 1.5 years and has seen such great success that they have run five separate campaigns featuring messaging for the holidays and summer, along with messaging for new product launches. The audio campaign can be heard on Spotify, Pandora, SoundCloud, and TuneIn.  

“We’ve been able to prove that personalization of the creative has helped drive more foot traffic to these Health & Wellness centers. The technology also gives us the flexibility to run creative promoting product launches that are only available at select locations.” – Pete Jimison, Frequency

2) A Million Ads’ campaign for Compare the Market Insurance 

It’s becoming clear that dynamic creative and data-driven personalization is the driving force behind successful advertising, as we continue to see an overall improvement in metrics attached to these tactics. 

For instance, in a recent campaign that data-driven dynamic creative company A Million Ads built for Compare the Market Insurance, they tapped into the moments when a consumer would be most likely to use the 2-for-1 meals offer. Performance metrics showed that referencing local restaurants delivered a 49% uplift in ad engagement. Results also showed that listeners were 42% more likely to consider using Compare the Market Insurance after hearing the dynamic ad. 

Source: Attest survey.

3) A Million Ads’ Campaign for McDonald’s

Another campaign by A Million Ads for McDonald’s utilized dynamic creative to achieve stellar results.  

By pairing humor with charming colloquial rhymes, it was designed to establish McDelivery as a new delivery mainstay in the UK and introduced the idea of eating McDonald’s at home. The strategy worked well with its desired audience, as results indicated that listeners who were exposed to the dynamic creative were 37% more likely to order McDelivery through Uber Eats, versus those exposed to the standard creative. 

Source: Attest survey. 

As dynamic ad campaigns continue to drive exceptional results, we expect to see advertising to shift from a traditional one-size-fits-all medium to personalization on default.  The simple reason? It works.

4) Dentsu Aegis Network’s Spotify Campaign for Michelob Ultra

To reach fit audiences that also enjoy a social life, a dynamic, personalized ad for Michelob’s low-calorie beer brand Michelob Ultra was delivered to runners based on their location, local time, and the weather before beginning their workout. Follow-up messages then reinforced this messaging during exercise and recovery.

After a user’s run, the ad also invited Spotify users to visit the ‘Miles of Michelob Ultra’ microsite from where they could redeem a personalized Spotify playlist based on running distance, intensity, and location. Users were also offered the opportunity to “try a free pint.” 

Michelob is the first brand to use what Spotify deems its “dynamic audio technology” for a global ad campaign, which was highly successful.

Improving Performance Will Expand Audio’s Reach

Audio is undoubtedly ascendant, and with it, the technology that supports its growth. As technology catches up with audio innovation, so does performance measurement. For example, downloaded podcasts have traditionally used offer codes, unique URLs, and vouchers to measure campaign effectiveness. Innovation in relation to measurement of this space through solutions like DAX Listener ID gives information about how audiences respond to a brand’s call to action and Spotify‘s streamed ad insertion (SAI) brings granular campaign metrics to podcasts such as ad impressions, reach, frequency and anonymized audience insights.

The variety and scope of digital audio ads are also expanding across airwaves. As programmatic audio spreads across devices, audiences are no longer just listening on their mobile phones, but home smart speakers and streaming audio inside their cars. This year, US adults will spend more time listening to audio than radio. The increasing variety of audio platforms to choose from means listeners are able to continuously curate their audio content. This gives brands the opportunity to further tailor their campaigns to specific audience segments, while also being cognizant of the type of listening which may be occurring, be it one-to-one, in a group, on the move or at home. Meanwhile, advancements in AI are making audio ads even more dynamic, providing unique interactive experiences for the listener. 

Looking forward, as more traditional radio broadcast budgets move digitally, audio ads will continue to push the boundaries of creativity, making programmatic audio one of the most exciting platforms to include in one’s programmatic stack. Meanwhile, campaigns such as these are setting a new standard for innovation in digital advertising. Their marriage of innovative technology and originality begs the question — what will we hear next?

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