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  • Writer's pictureOlly Hutson

How Podcast Advertising can Supercharge your Christmas Campaigns

Although 2022 has been a record year for Easter spending, (Roy Morgan) inflation, geopolitical instability, supply chain issues and rising interest rates mean that customers now have a new scale of preferences for the 2022 Christmas shopping season. They are looking for brands that can provide personalised, convenient solutions to make their lives easier and better. Advertisers are also reported to be cautious this year, reigning in the traditional Christmas budget blowout. How can podcast advertising provide a more cost effective solution? What Xmas 22 retail trends should we be aware of? Are podcast ads better as a stand-alone ad stream or complimenting other media buys? What brands are leading the way? Read on to find out.

Christmas ads- the traditional way

Traditionally, brands have chosen TV ads as the main platform to launch their Christmas campaigns, capitalising on the mood of nostalgia and warmth. Major retailers such as Coles, Woolies and David Jones usually launch a much anticipated festive ad campaign that centers around a emotionally charged TVC, often with below the line support such as social media and digital ads. However, globally the cost of buying TV ads has soared by almost a third since before the pandemic, the steepest rise in more than two decades, according to Warc (The Guardian).

Pressure on TV budgets has mounted further with the rising popularity of TikTok and new ad-supported packages on streaming services Netflix and Disney+, plus the increased penetration of podcasts.

So, why should an advertiser consider podcast advertising to complement traditional forms of advertising in the seasonal period? For starters, it offers audiences that are not likely to watch free to air TV or commercial radio, adding incremental reach. Podcasting reaches a generation of individuals who turn to mobile phones for media consumption and have a desire for on-demand content that aligns closely with their personal perspectives and interests. This means that they are highly engaged in the content - they opted in, rather than being served the content passively (Edison Super Listeners 21).

Another angle to consider is attention. A recent UK study, undertaken by The Guardian found 65% of listeners paid attention to podcast adverts - more than adverts on TV at 39% and adverts on the radio at 38% (Guardian). Also, consumers are likely to be distracted whilst watching TV - most likely by their mobile phone. The majority of people (88%) actively reduce distractions before they start listening to a podcast (Ad News).

Retail trends for 2022

1. Christmas does not just mean December

According to the Deloitte Retailers’ Holiday Survey 2022, only 24% of retailers in Australia believe that the December 2022 trading period is of the highest importance to their company's overall performance. Over the last decade, December has become less critical as businesses increasingly extend their promotional period earlier into the year to encompass events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday (Deloitte).

This trend leans well into podcast advertising, as a campaign of around 7-10 weeks is recommended. Unlike a Facebook ad that is experienced in real-time, podcasts are on-demand digital audio that can be downloaded or streamed whenever it is convenient for the listener, and listened to at their leisure. This unique trend in consumption has a powerful impact on customer acquisition over a longer period of time.

2. Digital and IRL shopping go hand in hand

45% of businesses expect online sales to increase above 10 per cent, compared to 55 per cent last year (Deliotte). Across 2020 and 2021, online was the main route to market, so it’s no surprise that the channel is expected to slow down this season. As customers seek out interaction in a hark back to pre-pandemic shopping behaviours, investments in exceptional in-store experiences are in vogue.

Whilst we wouldn’t recommend abolishing your digital ads completely, we would recommend adding podcast advertising into the mix to strengthen thor performance. Combined with the visual cues of digital display, podcasts make campaigns more memorable and trustworthy. Trust levels increase from 45% to 63% when podcasts are added into the media mix. (Guardian).

Furthermore, podcasts have strong brand lift power, meaning that they have been proven to have the power to allow the listener to recall and type in a website address days after hearing the ad, PLUS can also compel consumers to buy in-store.

Brands leading the way

An example of a highly effective seasonal podcast campaign is Sonos advertising on the Dissect podcast.

Sonos wireless speakers offer high quality audio streaming. Sponsoring audiophile podcast Dissect was a match made in heaven. Dissect analyses one song per album per episode, known for its thorough analysis of contemporary music. Dissect originally was funded by the host’s Cole Cuchna’s patreon: “I could very easily have had advertising on the show but I thought the value of keeping it ad-free outweighed the money,” he said in the show’s early days.

This made the match of Sonos and Dissect even more powerful and credible as the podcast grew larger. Cuchna detailed how Sonos products elevated his relationship with audio, from making movie night at home feel like a theater experience to DJing through the power of voice-activated speakers. The campaign worked as the listeners were invested in the subject matter and host, making integrating the product a natural part of the storytelling. Listeners are immersed in the podcast from start to finish, an attention span that is rare in today’s instant gratification culture.

The long-term campaign was highly successful, highlighting the power of finding the perfect brand/podcast match. You can listen to some of the integrations here.

Christmas 2022 is set to offer challenges to marketers due to a number of socio-economic factors. TV is no longer king, as budgets are likely to be cut and audiences are diversifying their media intake. Podcast advertising offers a versatile, cost effective means to supercharge your campaign, often reaching audiences that above the line media does not. These audiences are immersed in a way that is unique to audio, offering unique cut-through and proven results. Get in touch with us anytime to explore this further.


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