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How Automakers Are Using Audio In Their Marketing.

As entire categories like insurance and pharmaceutical increase their audio ad spend, and Amazon enables marketers to create custom voices on Alexa, signposts are pointing to brands moving “from experimentation to greater activation of their audio marketing.” That’s the 2021 read from Scott Simonelli, CEO and founder of Veritonic, which provides data and insights on audio marketing.

“The brands who move on audio marketing will be first to reap its unique rewards – most importantly, deeper connections with customers through sound,” Simonelli said in a recent piece of content marketing from the firm. It is part of new category-by-category Audio Intelligence Infographic series with the first one focused on automotive. While the piece is essentially a pitch to use Veritonic’s platform to make smarter decisions about audio marketing, it does contain some new intel about which automakers are most invested in audio and how they’re using it.

Hyundai is the biggest audio user based on audio ad frequency, capturing 20.8% of the audio ad frequency pie in Veritonic’s snapshot. It’s followed closely by Nissan (19.3%), Lexus (18.2%), and Ram (13.1%).

But Mercedes-Benz is out front when it comes to the amount of different audio creative used. The Daimler-owned brand captured an 11.3% share of unique creatives by brand, followed by Kia (9.3%), Chevrolet (9.2%), Ford (8.6%), and Hyundai (6%).

With an overview of the competitive set using audio, Veritonic next looks at who speaks to auto buyers more in audio ads. While audio ads have always been dominated by male voices, historically hovering around 75%, new research on automotive ads shows 52% are voiced by a male, 17% by a female and 30% contain male and female voices. And among male auto intenders, the No. 1 ranked ad uses a female lead voice.

Like other categories, auto advertisers have altered their ad strategies, ranging from striking a more comforting tone to changing creative directions entirely. For automakers, that has involved turning their creative focus to outdoor adventures. A Toyota campaign addresses prospects as “adventurers” while Volkswagen stresses road trips and camping and Subaru’s positioning slogan is “Driven by an adventurer’s heart.” Vertonic says its ad testing shows the strategy to be working. Each of these ads and a similarly themed one from Lexus beat the benchmark for automotive ads in the Veronic platform.

Finally, the snapshot looked at auto advertisers making use of interactive audio ads. Lexus was the only one to include a “click to discover more” function in its synched audio ads. Veritonic says 61% of auto intenders were likely/extremely likely to click on a banner to learn more, 63% were likely/extremely likely to click to a website and 56% would interact with an ad via voice to learn more if prompted.

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