Ad Creative

Happy Hour: Serving Up Brand Recall and Captivating Audiences

Jun 26, 2023

Creating an ad experience that generates positive responses for consumers can be tricky. At SXM Media, we strive to meet brands and consumers at exactly the right time. We know brands do better when they capture audience attention at the right moment, meeting the listener when they’re in the right mood and mindset to hear your ads. And thanks to Happy Hour, we amassed over +1M video views in just three weeks.1 

SXM Media now presents: the Happy Hour pilot. It’s an experience that allows advertisers to serve their already stellar creative at the perfect time to capture listener attention. Starting in May and running through October, listeners will be invited to join a Happy Hour listening experience hosted by some of their favorite brands. 

What Is Happy Hour? 

Every Thursday, Pandora listeners who launch the app between 6-9pm local time will see a pop-up inviting them to start an ad-free Happy Hour experience by watching a short ad: 

  • If they accept, listeners watch a short video ad and are rewarded with an uninterrupted station listening until the end of happy hour.

  • If they dismiss, listeners return to their normal listening experience and will not receive the opportunity again until the following week.

Happy Hour Video Preview 1

Why Happy Hour?

Happy Hour brings a fun and unique solution to reaching your consumers while also generating brand awareness and favorability. This allows advertisers to contextually align to the moods and movements of consumers when they are tuned in. We partnered with HBO Max (now Max) for a Happy Hour takeover and found that brand recall had a +9.9% lift and 712K engagements in just a two week span—cheers to that!1 When you target your audience contextually, listeners will be more receptive to the Happy Hour reward because it’s giving them the opportunity to be fully immersed in audio as they go about their day. That means Thursday Happy Hour starts when consumers are commuting, working out at the gym, making dinner, or hosting a group of friends, when music is a must have. 

Happy Hour Preview 2

Incentive-based video ads can make lasting impressions for the advertiser, which increases engagement and retention. And listeners are up to 2X more likely to prefer mobile rewarded videos. Happy Hour ads are opt-in, meaning we give the listeners the option to choose whether they want to accept the ad and be part of the experience rather than automatically push them into it. This is critical for advertisers who want more reassurance that consumers are actively engaging with their ad.

What’s Next?

Although this Happy Hour special is only running until October, we plan to take our learnings and feedback from advertisers and listeners alike to create a product that continues in success in the future. Happy Hour is just the beginning, so plan your own Happy Hour and send us a chat. 


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