Ad Creative

Unlocking the Pitch: How Strategy Drives Creative Decisions

Studio ResonateAug 28, 2023

Compelling words, the right voice, and intentional sound design to immerse and inspire the listener—now that’s an effective, memorable audio ad. And it’s an art that Studio Resonate has down to a science. But how did we get here? Great ads don’t simply happen. It takes strategy.

Strategy is a wide-ranging term in the industry, so we try to root our approach in a few core tenants.

Core Tenant: An ad product, celebrity, or influencer is not a strategy by itself. It’s a tactic.

Leveraging Creative Strategy for Audio Ads

Creative strategy; it’s not a buzzword for us. We are a dedicated team bridging the gaps between internal sales, agency partners, and clients. Our team guides the process, develops pitches, and ensures audio ads exceed expectations.

Most importantly, we bring the nuances and strengths of audio advertising to the sales process. In a visual world, where clients often think in terms of image-based branding, we come to the table with a deep understanding of the power of audio to capture listener attention, delight their senses, and motivate action.

What makes us unique is that we understand the space, and we can speak to product, platform, and creative,” says Matt Mohun, Director, Creative Strategy. “We know what’s going on in the industry, and we can translate trends into effective strategy. When it comes to working with Studio Resonate as a strategic account, we’re the first voice you should hear if you want to do something outside of the norm.

Core Tenant: You don’t have a strategy if you don’t have a problem you’re solving for

Being Part Detective, Part Artist

Without creative strategy, crucial steps can get missed, and final deliverables might miss the mark for clients. Picture a detective combined with an artist (a magnifying glass in one hand, a painter’s palette in the other). We’re digging into where the brand is and where they want to be, investigating the motivations and desires of audiences, and wrapping it all up in an audio strategy that informs creative decisions. 

“Our approach combines traditional advertising and creative strategy with other kinds of strategy,” explains Chandler Kirkman, Sr. Creative Strategist. “From brand strategy to business strategy to being an ad product expert here or media strategy expert there—we use our expertise to identify problems that we can address creatively through an audio-first lens. We keep the listener experience top of mind, ensuring brand messages are relatable, clear, and in-line with our data-backed recommendations. This helps advertisers thrive in streaming audio, satellite, and podcast listening environments.

Core Tenant: Our brains are wired for story and for sound; strategic audio advertising is how we bring them together

Breathing Life into the Pitch with Audio

Crafting world-class audio ad creative starts way before audio production, casting, or even copywriting. For clients, it starts with the pitch—but for our creative strategy team, it starts with understanding client needs, doing research, and developing concepts.

Most people want to dive right into the creative because it’s arguably the more tangible and exciting part,” says Blair Sheinberg, Creative Strategist. “But it’s really important to take a step back and ask why. Ask the client what success actually looks like and to better prepare how we’re going to get there in the most effective and thoughtful way. We do extensive research of both on- and off-platform work to search for a unique angle or insight that will inspire the creative team or get them thinking about the brand in a way they never have before, pushing beyond face value in an audio-first way.

When we’re pitching, we focus not only on the creative concept, but also on the story we’re telling around it. More often than not, one of our main goals is to influence a client to think about their brand and their relationship with audio as a cost effective, measurable, and memorable medium to incorporate into their media mix. 

To do that, we often develop audio sizzles to bring the concept to life, demonstrating audio’s ability to solve brand challenges. These sizzles are longer than typical audio spots and are designed to showcase our medium’s strengths to tell personal, engaging stories that envelop audiences.

Making Hosts and Travelers Feel at Home for Airbnb

The Challenge: Consumers were craving travel again, but some were struggling to find places to stay. How does Airbnb get more hosts to list their spaces for rent, giving them peace of mind when they have guests occupying their spaces?

The Concept: We want hosts and guests alike to share the joys of traveling, like making new memories, and exploring new places—all while feeling like you’re in a home away from home. And to make the experience even better, hosting on Airbnb is as easy as finding a place to stay.

The Pitch: Tap into both the desire to travel and the relaxation of homey spaces. The idea was to put the listener into both roles, helping them identify with each. From the desert to the forest to the beach, we created an endless story loop of travelers and hosts trading places and recharging in new environments, powered by Airbnb.

Airbnb Pitch Sizzle

This asset is a proof of concept created by Studio Resonate for demonstration purposes only.

Playing on Nostalgia for Pizza Hut

The Challenge: Remember family dinners or friends’ birthdays at Pizza Hut? The red cups, the Pac-Man machines, and the cheesy goodness on a big round plate? Pizza Hut was looking for fresh ways to connect with younger generations the way it had with Gen X and millennials.

The Concept: Sensorial experiences create nostalgia, and nostalgia creates connection. Using audio cues from the early days of pizza hut, we highlighted the power they already possess to create nostalgia, while providing a roadmap to generate that same feeling for future generations.

The Pitch: Telling a story of three different ages. The first is what Pizza Hut sounds like and represents as a nostalgia vessel. The second stage is showing how to connect and be a part of the landscape with Gen Z and a more diverse audience. And lastly is a look into the future. If you’re always creating memories and experiences in the present, you will always be generating affinity and equity for your brand in the future. 

Pizza Hut Pitch Sizzle

This asset is a proof of concept created by Studio Resonate for demonstration purposes only.

To complement our audio sizzle, showcase our creative expertise, and give a little nod to Pizza Hut’s history, our Sr. Designer, Evelyn Overall, created menus for when Pizza Hut puts their first restaurant on the moon. 

Building Memorable Ad Experiences

Audio’s unique storytelling ability and personalization puts the listener in the center of the action. It's how we approach creative strategy and it shines through in our pitches. The power of audio allows any consumer to hear a message and relate in some way, often with personal significance—which brands can leverage. 

Looking for big audio ideas for your brand or partners? Let’s talk.

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