• Ranieri & Co.

The Brands Leading Podcast Advertising - Part 2

Earlier this year, we explored some of the brands leading podcasts, learning from the advertisers leading in the space and producing best practice podcast ads and integrations. Since then, podcast consumption continues to explode, with more Americans listening to podcasts than have Netflix accounts (more eye popping stats here.) In the past five years, podcast advertising consideration among brands and agencies has grown 2.5x and spend intention has grown nearly 4x, (Cumulus Annual Perceptions Study.) Here are some more examples of brands harnessing the potential of the medium, providing some interesting learnings including why it works and how to get started.


1. Canva

Australian-based online publishing tool Canva has had rapid growth, with over 15 million users in over 190 countries, since its inception in 2012. They have achieved this success through clever marketing, including SEO, social media, content marketing and podcasts.


Ranieri and Co have the pleasure of exclusively representing the world’s largest independent podcast publisher: Wondery and also partnering with local talent such as The Byron Cook Show, The Fitness and Lifestyle Podcast and The Junkees Podcast. Canva was matched to The Junkees with Dave O'Neil and Kitty Flanagan due to its appeal to niche audiences. As most effective customer acquisition for Canva is by recommendation, their spots on a much loved niche show like The Junkees is a natural alignment, essentially extending the word of mouth around the service.


Podcast ads are the most recalled type of ad – with 86% of respondents saying they remember seeing or hearing an ad (Super Listeners 2021 report). Host-read podcast ads achieve 72% brand recall, compared with 62% for non-host-read ads. Additionally, host-read ads on podcasts produce an average of 50% increase in purchase and recommendation intent among listeners when compared against non-host-read ads.(Neilson)


The Junkees is a podcast from Aussie favourites Dave O’Neil and Kitty Flannagan. The comedians investigate junk food, old and new. This quirky, niche podcast (which also has a lively Facebook group) is the perfect environment for a service like Canva, reaching creative professionals with strong networks who could benefit from the service for their jobs, side hustles, bands and art projects.

You can listen to an example here.



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2. Hello Fresh

You may be wondering why a brand that transacts purely through e-commerce chooses podcast ads over clickable digital banner ads. You may also be wondering how Hello Fresh are the most recalled brand in podcasting (Edison Research, 2021.) (Note: we are using an American example as their numbers and trends tend to be indicative of how the industry will follow globally).


Ads from HelloFresh were found on nine different podcast categories. The most advertised category was Comedy and Society & Culture. Ads were mainly host read. The hosts talked about how simple the system is, gave an example of a meal they have tried and provided listeners with a code for a discount.


What made these ads so successful? The answer is, factors that podcast ads do well - scale, trust and recall. The brand was able to reach a large audience due to the efficiency of targeting capabilities that podcast ads offer. Host-read ads mean that the ads are well received as podcast audiences tend to trust and respect the hosts they listen to. Lastly, as podcasts are an immersive, screen-less medium, the superior ad recall can translate into efficient conversions for brands.

You can listen to an example here.

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3. Sonos


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 long-term campaign was highly successful, highlighting the power of finding the perfect brand/podcast match.

Listen to some of the integrations here.


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4. BetterHelp


BetterHelp is an online counselling service that is one of the top podcast advertisers in the US, reportedly spending over $7 million USD in Dec 2020 (Inside Radio). The company was reported as advertising across more than 500 podcasts in the Society and Culture genre in that month alone, an 80% increase from their investment the previous month. Since the first quarter of 2020, the Mental Health industry has grown by 430% on podcasts, indicating that they are seeing great success in this medium.

There are a number of reasons why this strategy is working. The first is that listening to podcasts is mainly a solo activity for most people: it is immersive. As the listener goes deep on the podcast, it's a perfect opportunity to approach an intimate and personal issue like mental health. As a lot of listeners listen to podcasts to learn something and improve themselves, BetterHealth were well placed to offer their services. The audience is warm - Edison Research found that 67% of podcast listeners enjoy hearing the ads, compared with just 6% for TV and radio audiences.

Additionally, timing here is crucial. As the world struggled with the challenges of the pandemic, mental health was in crisis. It was difficult to get an appointment with a psychiatrist or therapist as demand swelled. BetterHealth offered an accessible alternative available to all.

You can listen to an example of their ads here.


It’s an exciting time to advertise on podcasts, as the industry continues to grow and options become more advanced and targeted. Learning from the strategies of market leading brands like Hello Fresh, BetterHealth, Sonos and Canva, we can make sure we do it the right way and connect with listeners to achieve a variety of business objectives. In 2022, investment in podcasts from brands is highly likely to increase. Get in touch to find out how you can harness the most immersive platform.