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  • Writer's pictureOlly Hutson

What We Can Learn from Award Winning Podcast Ad Campaigns

By Olly Hutson

As more and more media platforms, content and ad campaigns emerge, it gets more challenging to cut through the noise and create memorable, impactful advertising. As marketers, we can learn from the most successful and awarded podcast industry examples to deliver entertaining, touching, captivating, and memorable ads that resonate with customers and build brand reputation. We look at examples that appeal to untapped demographics and show a true audience understanding to communicate brand messages in an entertaining and engaging way that has been recognised by the industry.

The Australian Podcast Awards is an annual celebration of Australian podcast creatives. The entries are judged by a panel of experts that are selected across the industry.

The winner of Best Branded Podcast for 2022 was Life’s Booming with James Valentine for Australian Seniors. The series is by Australian Seniors (an Insurance company), for Australian seniors (the demographic). The podcast explores the many facets of senior life: relationships, traveling, the good times, and the challenges. The branded series has also won other industry awards such as Bronze in the International Content Marketing Awards. What has attracted such success and recognition? The judges said Life’s Booming “mirrored the rich tapestry of humanity by immersing the audience with an equally rich soundscape to remind them that life can and will boom at any age”.

Put simply, the show tells real, compelling stories - the success at the heart of any good podcast. Simon Hovell, chief marketing officer at Greenstone Financial Services commented on the success of – and need for – Life’s Booming for the over 50s market: “We created the Life’s Booming podcast after seeing a gap in the market for audio content tailored to the over 50s population. Seeing the success of the first series, we knew that this demographic wanted more and that is why we are excited about this second series.”

“It’s clear that this podcast has resonated with the over 50s demographic: the 4.8-star rating on Apple Podcasts is a testament to this. At the same time, it’s a unique opportunity for advertisers to reach the over 50s population, as the audio content market quickly evolves.”

A branded podcast can give you an edge over competitors in your space. If no one in your niche has done it yet, you can gain the valuable first move advantage in the war for your customer’s attention. But don’t wait too long. Between 2020 and 2021 alone, Apple Podcasts saw an 82% increase in the number of new branded podcasts launched (Chartable). Companies have begun to appreciate the boundless marketing and brand recognition opportunities afforded by creating their own podcasts, resulting in positive ROI.

She’s On The Money’s creative for Budget Direct stood out from the crowd, taking the award for Best Creative Campaign. It showed clever use of the podcasting format to deliver creative brand messaging with some fantastic results.

She’s On the Money is all about taking the fear out of finance and helping the audience become a master of their money, inspiring women to make great money decisions for the rest of their lives. The team are passionate about only partnering with brands that will add value to their community.

Budget Direct are in the top 10 podcast advertisers in Australia (Radio Today). Jonathan Kerr - Chief Growth Officer, Budget Direct says, “You can’t turn up to a new channel and do the old game. You’ve got to think about the listener and think how we can be relevant. Do something that entertains, reward or at the very least, leave someone with a bit of a smile on their face. We’re a challenger brand taking on our rivals and being more passionate than anyone else.”

The audio ad assets created were motivated by early success in radio and podcasts. Budget Direct wanted to move the brand forward and build on salience and familiarity. The measured success through new leads - they have never generated more quotes until the podcast ads came along. “The audio industry has an edge - it's also great for integration with other advertising forms. Podcasting is stretching out and giving you people who are not watching traditional television.” says Kerr.

He has the following advice to other CMOs thinking of creating audio ads

“I wish I’d got into it and done it earlier. Work with people who really understand the biology of it. Have courage, do something that will resonate.”

You can hear the ads here: iab.

Looking internationally, The 2022 Quill Podcast Awards (USA), awarded EDITED: Inside Retail as their Branded podcast of the Year. The show pulls back the curtain on the world of luxury brands, fast fashion and housewares. Each episode features conversations with industry leaders and fashion innovators to explore key trends and how brands solve the daily challenges facing the retail marketplace everyday.

EDITED is a leader in global retail analytics. By creating a podcast that caters to retail industry professionals, they provide value and build an authentic relationship of trust — so when they do develop a need for the product, they’ll think of EDITED first. The podcast takes the offering of the business and molds it into entertaining, insightful learnings. It explores the issues that matter most to the consumer, giving the brand premium visibility within these issues.

What do these award winning podcasts have in common?

They all appeal to specific niche audiences and the content created is tailored for them. They empower their audiences by communicating useful, inspiring advice and real life stories. It’s within this environment that contextual brand messages can be interwoven seamlessly and effectively. They align brand messages with customers’ needs in a compelling way, often utilising experts as talent to bring the messages to life. They do it through this medium because our brains are wired for audio storytelling.

Mindshare research shows that brand stories told just audibly inspire an average 50% more positive emotional peaks than brand stories told just visually.

As podcasting continues to grow and reach higher penetration in Australia, there are more and more highly effective ways for brands to advertise. Get in touch to find out how you can harness the most immersive platform.


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