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Advertising Audience Insights

10 Brands That Got Audio Right in 2020

Picture this: it’s 2015, consumer spending is up almost 5% from last year, the job market is doing great, and with the rise of the gig economy, everyone is taking Ubers to their side hustles to finance their way to see Hamilton (…with the original cast.) Oh yeah, and the words “Baby Shark” mean NOTHING. As a brand marketer, the world is your oyster. Your campaigns could be humorous, serious, audacious, whatever your heart desires. 

Remember that? Good times.

The pandemic of 2020 rocked and changed the lives of nearly every person on earth. And being that a marketer’s job is to reach and engage those people, I’d say the task marketers were faced with this year has been harder than anything the industry has faced to date. 

How do you console, support, not offend, and ultimately sell to an entire world in crisis? It’s not easy. That’s why we’re calling out the brands that did it right this year on our 2020 Top Audio Advertisers List. 

Let’s start with podcasts. 

The investment in podcasts by platforms and brands alike has been monumental in 2020. From Spotify’s acquisition of Megaphone, to Omnicom spending $20M on the medium this year, podcasting has had a better 2020 than a lot of us.

Listen below to a couple ads that make it clear why some of our winners deserve their seats on top: 

Honey

How many brand mentions in an ad is too much? How do you feel about, oh I don’t know,  FIFTEEN? It seems to work for Honey, considering it has the highest overall recall of any of the brands on our list. Take a listen to one of Honey’s ads this year, detected and scored by the Veritonic platform. You can’t miss its unique style that helps make Honey ads so memorable:

Just a warning in case there are any kids in the room! There is some explicit language in this ad.

Salesforce

B2B really stepped it up in podcast advertising this year, with eMarketer estimating a nearly 23% increase in spend from 2019.1 The spend appears to be paying off for Salesforce, as their ads win for purchase intent:

Each & Every

Am I the only health nut that wants a Molecular and Developmental Biologist as the founder of my deodorant brand? Apparently not. Because Each & Every made our list. The authenticity of their brand message and voice helps them rank extremely high:

Now onto radio.

O’Reilly Auto Parts

While pretty standard in content for an auto parts brand, O’Reilly ads include sonic branding at both the start and the end of their ads. Only about 12% of ads include sonic branding, even though sonic brands are shown to improve brand recall, especially when they contain a brand mention. So, even though this ad doesn’t score very high for uniqueness, its inclusion of sonic branding across the ad is definitely something to emulate. 

Varo

Did you know that about 20% of ads use only female voice, while 50% use only male voice? And to add insult to injury, did you know female voices have been proven to be more trustworthy than male voices?2

Now that we have that depressing statistic out of the way, take a listen to this Varo ad. Varo is one of very few brands that give female voices the wide majority of airplay. Hopefully in 2021 scientific evidence will prevail and we’ll see many more brands jump on the female-voice bandwagon. 

And last but not least, Audio Branding:

Every year Veritonic releases its Audio Logo Index, which analyzes consumer response to audio signatures. This year, an additional analysis was done for brands that changed their sonic identities to be more appropriate and mindful of our current reality. 

Download the guide to read our findings and to see if your brand made the list. 

2020 has had its flaws, but in many ways marketers rose to the occasion. Even if it gets a bit redundant at times, it’s still nice to hear brands sharing the ways they are lending their support during a year like this.

Note from the author: 

The data and rankings included in this post were collected from the Veritonic platform, specifically Veritonic Competitive Intelligence. The platform analyzed over 10,000 radio and podcast ads that ran in 2020, which was then ranked by Veritonic Brand Score – a rating standard for audio creative which incorporates the overall emotional resonance, memorability (recall), purchase intent, and engagement of ads in a brand’s catalog. To learn more about Competitive Intelligence and how it can help you develop a winning audio strategy, contact us at info@veritonic.com.

1 eMarketer
2 NPR

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Advertising

Full-flight Optimization: Attribution Comes to Veritonic

The stats around how critical the audio market is to marketers continued to pour in through 2019. From the rocketship that is podcasting to the fact that audio accounts for the majority of adult time spent on mobile, last year’s message was clear: build a solid strategy for audio or squander a tremendous opportunity to influence customers in the most culturally-relevant way possible.

2020 is the year that we take that message to the next level. 

With the urgency established, marketers now need clear guidance on what exactly to do to maximize the opportunity — a “map of winning the audio renaissance,” if you will. We’re building a lot into the Veritonic audio intelligence platform to give marketers that holistic guidance in one place and help bring that promise to fruition.

Today, we’re proud to announce one of the first and most critical pieces: attribution data will now be available in the Veritonic platform. Flagship partners include LeadsRx, specializing in radio and TV attribution, and Podsights, specializing in podcasts.

Attribution data, as most of you probably know, guides marketers on the best way to optimize their campaigns once they’re out by homing in on which parts are most responsible for driving desired results (site visits, conversions, sales, etc.), and why. 

So let’s say you’re a sneaker brand advertising on podcasts that’s trying to drive a special offer for show listeners. And your attribution data proves that your midroll ads targeted to shows with high listenership among urban moms are driving the most sales. So yeah — you build up that end of your campaign.

Audio creative data, foundational in the Veritonic platform, focuses on optimizing creative pre-launch, allowing marketers to determine which audio ads — or parts thereof — are most memorable, emotionally resonant, engaging, and likely to drive sales.

This data can tell your sneaker brand — before the ad even goes out — things like how it scores relative to other ads like it, the optimal voice or script to leverage, where to place a brand mention, and much more.   

Tie both datasets together and what do you get? We like to call it “full-flight optimization” — clear direction on how to capitalize on what works the best across the entire campaign lifecycle, all in one place.

The value doesn’t end there. Marketers are clamoring for modern analytics platforms. As we’ve discussed a lot, predictions on what drives the best results need to be smarter and come faster. Tying attribution data (the factors that drive a conversion) back to a particular piece of audio creative helps our platform predict how effective that kind of creative will be. And smarter predictions breed faster, more reliable insights. 

So big thanks to our friends at LeadsRx and Podsights for helping us fulfill the promise of fast, comprehensive audio guidance for marketers in 2020. We’re rapidly filling in the map, making the path to deeper connections with people through sound clear and easy.

To learn more about the integration of attribution into the Veritonic platform, contact us.