30th January 2024

How audio advertising can amplify your marketing efforts

Radio advertising is one of the oldest types of advertising. The first radio ad aired on August 22, 1922, in the USA. The New York City radio station, WEAF, sold its first radio commercial (although at the time it was referred to as “toll broadcasting”) slot to a real estate company called the Queensboro Corporation.

Audio advertising has become an increasingly powerful tool in the world of marketing. With the rise of digital platforms and the popularity of streaming services, brands are discovering the unique benefits of reaching their target audience through audio channels. In this article, we will explore the various aspects of audio advertising and how it can amplify your marketing efforts.

Audio Ad Waves

The rise of digital audio advertising

Digital audio advertising has seen a remarkable surge in popularity in recent years! Thanks to the rise of streaming platforms like Spotify, Soundcloud, and Apple Music, people are spending more and more time enjoying music and podcasts online. This change in consumer behavior opens up an exciting chance for brands to connect with their target audience in a more personal and engaging manner.

By using digital audio advertising, brands have the amazing ability to connect with consumers during their everyday activities, whether they're on the go, getting their sweat on, or just chilling at home. This opens up an opportunity to deliver personalised messages that really strike a chord with listeners. And the best part? Digital audio platforms offer all sorts of targeting options, so brands can customise their ads based on stuff like where people are, who they are, and even what they like to listen to.

Digital Audio Platforms

Understanding programmatic audio advertising

Programmatic advertising has made an impact on the way brands approach digital marketing, and audio advertising is no exception. Programmatic audio advertising allows brands to automate the process of buying and selling ad inventory, making it more efficient and cost-effective. This means that brands can reach their target audience at scale, maximising their reach and impact.

Programmatic audio advertising also offers advanced targeting capabilities, allowing brands to deliver personalised messages to specific segments of their audience. By using data and analytics, brands can identify the most relevant moments to deliver their ads, ensuring that they are heard by the right people at the right time. This level of precision and efficiency is invaluable in today's competitive marketing landscape.

Digital Audio Ad 1

How does audio advertising work?

The effectiveness of audio advertising

Audio advertising can be an effective medium for brand recall and engagement, especially when targeting audiences who may not be actively seeking a particular product or service. Here are a few key points regarding the effectiveness of audio advertising:

Challenges in gaining attention

  • People are generally not actively seeking out advertising, so ads must work hard to capture their attention.
  • Audio ads have the challenge of interrupting individuals who are engaged in activities such as driving, working, or listening to music or podcasts.

Increasing mental availability

  • Audio ads can contribute to increasing mental availability for a brand, making it more likely for the brand to be recalled and considered in buying situations.
  • This is particularly beneficial when targeting buyers who are not currently in the market for a specific product or service.

Relevance and emotional connection

  • To stand out and capture attention amidst distractions, audio ads need to be relevant and tap into the emotions of the audience.
  • Creating an emotional connection through audio ads can significantly increase the chances of grabbing attention and making a lasting impression.
Henry Be Bafibdmeivi Unsplash

What are the best practices when creating audio ads?

By following some proven principles from System1's 'Listen Up!' report, audio ads can be produced in a way that aids memory when the buyer is in category for a product or service (think the "Just sold my car to WeBuyAnyCar" jingle!

  1. Incorporate right-brain features

Advertisers need to incorporate right-brain features into audio campaigns that make ads interesting and enjoyable to everyone, not just those in the “buying mode”. Characters, a sense of place, story unfolding, dramatic intimacy, and music with discernible melody are the right-brain audio features that build longer-lasting memory structures.

  1. Create with the listener in mind

It needs to be clear who an ad is for. Listeners prefer to know which brand is speaking, don’t be shy. Make your ad relatable by starting with a creative strategy that solves a consumer problem or goal, or includes a customer insight. Focus most of the limited airtime you have on the narrative and branding to stimulate a stronger emotional response, whilst trying to limit excessive details like terms and conditions where possible.

  1. Be distinctive

It’s important for audio ads to be distinctive, i.e., sounding different from other brands but consistently sounding like themselves. Ensure audio ads don’t follow category norms for the sake of it but follow their brand’s own distinctive style consistently to get more attention and elicit high emotional intensity.

  1. Embrace the power of music

Music is the gift that keeps on giving in audio advertising. This is because it increases engagement and emotionalintensity. Use music with melody to help carry the pace of the ad, not as an afterthought. Or create catchy brand-owned melodic assets, that we’ve shown stand the test of time.

  1. Use a strapline

Ensuring audio ads are consistent with ads across the marketing mix boosts long-term effectiveness by extending campaigns and building stronger memory structures. Well-known straplines trigger brand recognition without decreasing emotional intensity.

  1. Brand early and often

Without the advantage of visual cues, introducing the brand’s distinctive audio assets (e.g. music, characters, etc.) earlier in the ad, ideally within the first few seconds and maintaining fluency throughout, can help listeners process the wider ad content/message more effortlessly. This can help enhance both short-term and long-term ad effects.

Listenup Banner V3

Key insights and stats on the effectiveness of audio advertising

Loads of studies and stats have highlighted the effectiveness of audio advertising in capturing audience attention and driving brand engagement. Research has shown that audio ads have a higher recall rate compared to visual ads, as listeners tend to retain the information they hear for a longer period of time. This makes audio advertising an effective tool for building brand awareness and recognition.

Audio advertising has been found to evoke strong emotional responses from listeners. Through the power of sound, brands can create a connection with their audience, triggering positive emotions and associations. This emotional engagement can significantly impact consumer behavior, leading to increased brand loyalty and purchase intent.

According to a study conducted by Edison Research, 75% of podcast listeners take action after hearing a podcast advertisement. This demonstrates the high level of engagement and influence that audio advertising can have on consumers. Whether it is visiting a website, making a purchase, or recommending a product to others, audio advertisements have the power to drive real results.

Audio Ad Emotion

Success stories and case studies of brands using audio advertising

Many brands have embraced audio advertising and achieved remarkable success. One such example is Coca-Cola, which launched a campaign on Spotify to engage with millennial listeners. By creating customised playlists and incorporating their brand message into the music experience, Coca-Cola was able to deepen its connection with its target audience and drive brand affinity.

Another success story comes from Audible, the leading provider of audiobooks and spoken-word entertainment. Audible partnered with podcast hosts to deliver engaging and relevant ads within popular podcasts. By aligning their advertisements with the podcast content and leveraging the trust and credibility of the hosts, Audible was able to generate significant interest and drive conversions.


During the bustling holiday season of December, we helped our client Burning Barn Rum to stand out in the bustling Christmas season. We transformed a challenge into an opportunity by infusing the spirit of craftsmanship into Christmas for Burning Barn Rum, enhancing their brand awareness with a creative audio ad that truly embodied the essence of the brand and was a refreshing and distinctive message in a saturated market. The 'Audio Completion Rate' we achieved was over 95%, surpassing industry benchmarks.

These success stories highlight the potential of audio advertising to create meaningful connections with consumers and drive tangible results. By understanding their target audience and crafting compelling narratives, brands can leverage audio advertising to amplify their marketing efforts and achieve their business objectives.

Examples of creative and successful audio advertising campaigns

Several brands have executed creative and successful audio advertising campaigns that have captured audience attention and generated buzz. One notable example comes from Spotify, which launched a campaign called "Thanks, 2016. It's Been Weird." This campaign utilised data from Spotify's users to create humourous and personalised advertisements that reflected the individual listening habits of each user. The campaign received widespread recognition and showcased the power of personalisation in audio advertising.

Another noteworthy campaign comes from GEICO, the insurance company known for its clever and memorable ads. GEICO partnered with the popular podcast "Serial" to create a series of engaging and entertaining audio ads. By incorporating elements of storytelling and humour, GEICO was able to capture the attention of listeners and deliver their brand message in a memorable way.

These examples demonstrate the importance of creativity and innovation in audio advertising. By thinking outside the box and leveraging the unique characteristics of the audio medium, brands can create compelling campaigns that resonate with their target audience and leave a lasting impression.

Spotify (1)

Choosing the right audio advertising agency for your brand

When embarking on an audio advertising campaign, it is crucial to partner with the right agency that understands your brand and objectives. The agency you choose should have a good understanding of the audio advertising landscape and be able to provide strategic guidance and creative solutions.

When selecting an audio advertising agency, consider their track record and experience in delivering successful campaigns. Look for agencies that have created work in different sectors, not just your own. Additionally, consider their expertise in programmatic audio advertising and their ability to leverage data and analytics to optimise campaign performance.

Communication and collaboration are also key factors to consider when choosing an agency. Ensure that the agency is responsive and proactive in addressing your needs and that they are aligned with your brand values and vision. By establishing a strong partnership with your audio advertising agency, you can maximise the impact of your campaigns and achieve your marketing objectives.

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The benefits of audio advertising in reaching specific target audiences

One of the key advantages of audio advertising is its ability to reach specific target audiences. With advanced targeting capabilities, brands can deliver personalised messages to segments of their audience that are most likely to resonate with their brand. This level of precision allows brands to optimise their advertising spend and drive higher engagement and conversion rates.

Additionally, audio advertising provides a unique opportunity to connect with audiences in intimate and personal moments. Whether it is through podcasts, music streaming, or voice-activated devices, audio advertisements can reach consumers during their daily routines, when they are more receptive to brand messages. This creates a powerful impact and fosters a deeper connection between brands and consumers.

Furthermore, audio advertising offers a non-intrusive and seamless user experience. Unlike visual ads that can be disruptive and intrusive, audio advertisements blend seamlessly into the content, enhancing the overall listening experience. This non-intrusive nature allows brands to deliver their message in a more organic and engaging way, increasing the likelihood of audience receptiveness and positive brand associations.

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How to integrate audio advertising into your marketing strategy

Integrating audio advertising into your marketing plan requires careful planning and consideration. Here are some key steps to help you incorporate audio advertising effectively:

  1. Define your objectives: Clearly outline your marketing objectives and how audio advertising can help you achieve them. Remember to be realistic. Audio ads work best at the 'top of the funnel', building mental availability for when people are 'in market' for your product or service.
  2. Identify your target audience: Conduct market research to identify your target audience and their audio consumption habits. Understand the platforms and channels they use, their preferences, and what motivates them. This will help you tailor your audio advertisements to resonate with your audience.
  3. Craft compelling narratives: Audio advertisements should tell a story and evoke emotions. Develop creative and engaging scripts that capture your brand's essence and connect with your audience on a deeper level. Consider leveraging voice artists, music, and sound effects to enhance the storytelling experience.
  4. Leverage data and analytics: Monitor and analyse the performance of your audio advertising campaigns. Leverage data and analytics to optimise your campaigns, identify areas for improvement, and refine your targeting and messaging strategies. Continuous monitoring and optimisation will ensure that your audio advertising efforts yield the best possible results.
  5. Measure and evaluate results: Set key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your audio advertising campaigns. Generally, audio ads are measured through outputs like impressions and listen-through rate. You can compare against industry benchmarks for these outputs. Audio ads should be measured 'above the line', meaning you should treat this channel as a brand-building channel and not about driving short-term sales.

By following these steps and integrating audio advertising into your marketing strategy, you can leverage the unique benefits of audio channels to amplify your brand's reach and engagement.

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Conclusion: The future of audio advertising and its potential impact on marketing efforts

Audio advertising is a powerful tool that can amplify your marketing efforts and drive tangible results. With the rise of digital audio platforms and the increasing popularity of streaming services, brands have the opportunity to connect with their target audience in more personal and engaging ways. By leveraging programmatic audio advertising, brands can automate their ad buying process and reach their audience at scale.

The effectiveness of audio advertising is supported by key insights and stats, demonstrating its ability to capture audience attention, evoke emotions, and drive brand engagement. Success stories and case studies of brands using audio advertising further illustrate its potential impact on marketing efforts. By crafting creative and compelling audio campaigns, brands can create meaningful connections with their audience and achieve their business objectives.

As the audio advertising landscape continues to evolve, it is crucial for brands to stay updated and adapt their strategies accordingly. By choosing the right audio advertising agency, brands can receive strategic guidance and creative solutions that align with their objectives. By integrating audio advertising into their marketing strategies, brands can reach specific target audiences, foster deeper connections, and drive higher engagement and conversion rates.

In conclusion, audio advertising has the potential to revolutionise marketing efforts by leveraging the power of sound to create a lasting impact. As technology continues to advance and consumer behaviour evolves, audio advertising will play an increasingly important role in the marketing landscape. By embracing audio advertising, brands can amplify their marketing efforts and stay ahead of the competition

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