Ad Creative

Proven Creative Tips for Announcer Reads in 2024 and Beyond

Melissa Paris, Vice President, Sales Research and Analytics; Miya Kanzaki, Creative Director, Studio ResonateDec 19, 2023

There is no denying the popularity and effectiveness of podcasts—they create opportunities for creators and consumers to bond, allow room for authentic conversations, and build communities in a way no other medium can. And advertisers can be a part of it all with podcast ads. Traditionally, Host Reads have been the go-to for advertisers, but Announcer Reads are also an effective way to leverage the power of podcasts—and we can prove it

Announcer Read scripts and spots are crafted specifically with podcast listening in mind. These ads can be served broadly and targeted by audience type, podcast genre, and more—hitting the scale advertisers are looking for that Host Reads can’t always provide. These are performed as natural, podcast-style reads, with the goal to sound contextually appropriate across many podcast genres, allowing brands to provide a host-like experience while specifying copy with a much larger audience in mind. When casting for Announcer Read spots, we choose the voices from our SiriusXM Podcast Network recommended VOs, a small, hand-selected group of voiceover talent that have shown lifts in metrics such as brand recall and purchase intent within the podcasting environment. 

Putting Announcer Reads to the Test

Studio Resonate put Announcer Reads to the test and identified creative tips to help brands make better podcast ads. By creating three different testing scenarios, we’re digging deep into the data behind a successful podcast advertisement so you don’t have to. 

Studio Resonate’s team are experts in creating audio ads that produce measurable success through year-round learning and collaboration. We brainstorm and test hypotheses with a creative focus and work hand-in-hand with our Insights Lab team to ensure the ads we put in and the results we get out are top notch. Testing and learning are the key to our business—we have a variety of tools that help us measure the success of our campaigns and the assets we create. For our testing on Announcer Reads, we’re focusing on the results from Veritonic, our creative testing partner. We’re working on more tests and takeaways for the future, so be sure to keep an eye out! 

1. Bring Humor to the Table

In case you didn’t know, comedy is the number one podcast genre. Everyone loves a good laugh, so we wanted to test just how well a humorous, fun-filled Announcer Read script would perform within the podcasting space. We’re specifically looking to find out how listeners feel about the ad, if it fits with the podcast show content, and if it leaves a memorable impression. To test this, we featured a snack brand and plugged the lighthearted ads into a variety of podcasts within the testing platform—and the results are promising. The funny Announcer Read scored above podcast ad benchmarks overall and particularly stood out when it came to aided recall or memorability. While one in five listeners felt the ad was disruptive, if a brand's personality is humorous, that might not be a bad thing.

Our Takeaway: Comedy Packs a Punch

Podcast ads don’t have to be all serious, all educational, all the time. With these results, we know humor can be a good choice for a brand's podcast ads, especially if it works with your brand message. And if you go with a funny advertisement, it could perform even better on similar podcast content, like comedy or lighthearted shows. 

2. A Little Goes a Long Way

The next test we conducted was for a stripped back Announcer Read vs one with some creative bells and whistles behind the voice. Do ads with energetic music and lots of sound effects perform well in a podcasting environment? 

In this case, we found that the simpler, voiceover focused ad performed better than one with heavy sound design and music. Listeners rated the simplified voiceover ad higher and felt like it fit with the content and belonged on the podcast. Whereas the ad with intensive music and SFX was perceived as more disruptive. 

Our Takeaway: Keep It Simple

Sometimes less is more—keeping creative elements simple and prioritizing your brand message can be more successful, especially within the podcast listening environment. While the decision about whether to use music and sound design in podcast ads is dependent on your creative concept, brand personality, and sonic assets, if you're in doubt, our testing has shown that it's better to err on the side of simpler creative elements with a focus on the message and voiceover. And if your brand has their own unique sonic logo, that will stand out more than superfluous sound design and should be used as often and as consistently as possible. 

3. Diversify Your Approach

Our third test was all about the perception of a podcast ad in a podcast environment vs a streaming music environment. Does the context of the content they hear before an ad impact their perception of it? This was done with our faux beverage brand, Tam’s Tea, and the results were validating. The spot performed well in the podcasting space—it was seen as more memorable, trustworthy, relevant, and drove stronger purchase intent. But when it comes to listening to the same ad in the streaming music space, people want to hear something that fits with the vibe. 

Tam’s Tea Announcer Read

Similar to a comforting, informative podcast host, David Cole’s read on the Tam’s Tea spot is both educational and soothing, just like a nice cup of tea you would have to relax after a hard day’s work. It keeps you feeling like you’re listening to your podcast, but taking a tea break to learn about tea.

Steve Pogatch, Senior Manager, Audio Production, Studio Resonate

Our Takeaway: One Size Does Not Fit All

Advertisers should thoughtfully craft creative that is unique to its environment—for example, podcast ads can emulate the content they’re running on and focus on the voiceover and message (see Takeaway 2), whereas ads for music streaming can break through and grab attention when you add some sound design or music. And if you’re not sure how to formulate the perfect message for different types of platforms, you can lean on Studio Resonate to do the heavy lifting. We’ll take your brand message and voice and craft advertisements that leave lasting impacts and hit just right for the platform they’re running on. 

Let’s Test Together

Announcer Reads allow brands to reach their advertising goals at scale, all while emulating the right tone and tempo listeners can connect with. And the Insights Lab team at SiriusXM Media aims to provide actionable insights to keep you in the know. We bring together our scale, research and data science capabilities, sonic expertise, and industry relationships to drive what the future will sound like through custom experiments and test plans—helping advertisers create thoughtful and precise messaging for their listeners. If these kinds of data-backed studies are your jam, we’ll have more like this in the future. 

Curious about anything? Reach out now and let’s chat about your creative testing ideas. 

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