Why Audio Might Be Your Best Missed Ad Opportunity
By: Julie Scelzo, Executive Creative Director, Pandora
When agency execs think about ad creative, it’s rare that audio tops the list. I know that many in the business still equate audio with terrestrial radio, and often add it to campaigns as an afterthought to check the boxes on DR and local. In fact, from a creative standpoint, I have a hard time identifying any infamous radio campaigns since Bud Light’s “Real Men of Genius” in 1998 (...which was pure genius, in my opinion).
But even though creatives are feeling the push to design for mobile, sound-off environments--audio, as we’ve always known it, is transforming into one of the most powerful advertising mediums out there. It’s the thing you may not be thinking of, but should.
I’ve worked with a lot of major brands to tell captivating stories that cause pause and spark conversation, yet I keep coming back to audio as one of the most effective storytelling tools at our disposal.
Let me break down the three reasons why I think all marketers and ad creatives should adopt an audio strategy early in their planning process:
- The “Theater of the Mind” Effect
- Embraces the Best of Digital
- Contextual Alignment with Music
With all this in mind, creating effective digital audio ads is not as easy as slapping a radio spot on a music streaming service. Making ads that truly resonate with the listener means taking full advantage of the medium. You can be incredibly personal if you rely on data and use creative cues that connect with each and every target consumer.
For many art directors, audio is still an untapped market--meaning that good really creative stands. If we take a note from the explosion in popularity of podcasts, the best ones are always well-produced, thoughtful and make their audience feel something ("Homecoming" is my new favorite!). Even the audio campaigns that I love most evoke all of these traits and more. Esurance, for example, is a master at using a consistent sonic identity. You hear the track, you hear the voice and you instantly know it’s Esurance no matter the platform or device. Over time, this has created a strong relationship between the brand and listener that’s not easily broken.
According to Nielsen, 79% of audio consumption takes place where visual media cannot reach consumers. Denying yourself an audio strategy misses out on that attention. I think there’s a lot that brands and agencies can achieve if they take a second look at audio.
Julie Scelzo is the Executive Creative Director at Pandora, leading the in-house agency handling all advertising, marketing, design and content for the company, and most recently Pandora Premium. She is an art director by trade with experience working on major brands like Levi’s, Hallmark, Altoids, Tampax and Dockers, as well as publishers like Facebook and Instagram.
Don’t miss Julie speak on the “Audio Reimagined: The Psychology of Sound” panel at Creative Summit this week in NYC on Thursday, May 11 at 10:50 a.m. at the Conrad Hotel.Sources: 1 IAB Digital Audio Buyers Guide, 2015