Voice Activated Ads Get a Test Run by OMD, Alfa-Bank and Instreamatic in Russia
Intreamatic has run a trial of voice activated ads for OMD and Alfa-Bank in Russia that were distributed to mobile app users of the Radio Record and Zvuk mobile apps. The campaign for the new debit card, NEXT MasterCard, delivered 500,474 audio impressions and “5.06% of listeners answered positively, which was 68% higher than expected.” Alexandra Sadovnichaia, media buying eirector OMD Media Direction, Russia said that 14.4% interacted with the ad, but the figure includes consumers that responded by voice but expressed no interest, asked to skip the ad or take another action that was not a positive response.
Stas Tushinsky, CEO of Instreamatic.ai said that the ad was delivered in two parts. First there was a teaser which roughly translates into English as, “Introducing the new NEXT MasterCard by Alfa-Bank. It has a fancy design of your choice and a up to 10% cash back in all the cinemas, cafes and restaurants. If you want to know more about the card, just say ‘Yes,’ after the signal.” Tushinski went on to say:
“If a user was interested, an additional audio message with more details was served and a landing page featuring the debit card product was opened in a browser. If a user was not interested, an even shorter audio message was served and then the user was returned back to content…with successive audio saying, ‘Ok, Alfa Bank is putting the music back.'”
Ads Differed Based on Intent
Sadovnichaia commented, “The creative itself allowed us to offer information about the product, no matter what the answer was, and its [flexibility] allows us to build an unobtrusive dialogue.” So, every consumer received some sort of ad unit. The 95% of consumers that either did not respond or responded negatively received a short, awareness building message. Alternatively, the 5% of consumers that did express interest were delivered a more robust message that tied into a landing page with a call-to-action.
Instreamatic determined if the response was positive, negative or absent by running the consumer utterance data through its AI Core that includes a custom natural language understanding (NLU) engine. Tushinsky said they have run a similar trial with an app in Sweden that was successful and the campaign was extended. Instreamatic.ai today supports more than 40 languages in its ad technology.
Voice Monetization and Advertising
The voice activated ads used by Instreamatic and OMD represent another method for monetizing mobile app audiences. This format is well aligned with apps that are primarily audio experiences. It also seems like an ideal ad format for voice apps such as Alexa skills and Google Assistant Actions. Both platforms restrict the use of advertising by third-party developers today, but it is logical that this ad format could be a successful monetization approach in the future. Yes, the platforms could extend the option to run standard audio ads that develop consumer awareness to more third-party voice app publishers beyond media. However, standard audio ads are passive media and do not take advantage of the key differentiation of the platforms, namely voice interaction.
Voice activated ads would represent a way for voice assistant and smart speaker users to respond to audio messages with their voice and be connected to offers in the same context they are using their device. That could actually lead to a better user experience and an economic model that will appeal to more third-party developers.