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Digital Audio Brand Strategy Brand Advertising

The new era of audio advertising lets you talk to the ads you hear

By Aimee Pearcy, Journalist

November 7, 2022 | 7 min read

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The future of audio ads will be transformed by bridging voice interactivity to allow customers to request information or order products directly from an audio ad.

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AdTonos will present YoursTruly, a solution that allows listeners to interact in real-time with advertisers

Today, audio is omnipresent, and it has completely changed the way we consume and interact with technology. Radio, podcasts and audiobooks have quickly become the busy person’s medium, designed for people to listen to on the go.

While the growth of audio advertising has been much more of a slow evolution than a revolution, the effectiveness of audio is becoming increasingly apparent – especially when it comes to brand advertising. Research released in March 2022 revealed that podcast advertising commands the highest level of attention of any media channel and that it also raises positive perceptions of brands and encourages listeners to make purchases.

As a result, brands are increasingly trying to find new and innovative ways to incorporate digital audio into their strategies. In 2021, digital audio advertising increased by 57.9% to $4.9bn.

London-based startup AdTonos is a digital audio advertising platform designed to connect advertisers and publishers and give them full control over their ads. Last month (November), AdTonos launched YoursTruly, a solution – named after an Electric Light Orchestra song – that allows listeners to interact in real-time with advertisers by talking to the ads they hear via smart speakers.

A two-way communication between humans and tech

Audio advertising is subtle and repetitive, which makes it extremely effective. AdTonos’ founder and chief executive officer, Michal Marcinik, explains: “Audio is an engaging, one-to-one form of communication. It gives brands the opportunity to build a relationship with the listener.”

For a long time, this relationship has been one-way, with little input from the recipient. But after decades of clicking, scrolling and staring at computer screens, this dynamic is rapidly shifting. Voice-activated products such as Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri are changing the way we interact with technology by enabling two way communication.

“We believe that in the coming years, the internet will be operated by end users more and more,” explains Marcinik. “Increasingly, information, services, and products purchased online will be ordered by voice.”

Over half of internet-using UK households own voice-activated speakers. Already, we can re-order our favorite products online with a quick command to our digital voice assistant. We don’t even need car keys anymore – we can start our cars just by talking to them. By 2024, the global voice-based smart speaker market is predicted to be worth $30bn.

YoursTruly technology is designed to transform the future of radio ads by bridging the gap between digital audio advertising and the customer. Finally, listeners will be able to book products and services directly from an ad. YoursTruly works on all Echo devices, mobile devices, or smart speakers that have Alexa, or most other voice assistants, enabled. It also works on all mobile phones with Android and voice assistant turned on, or iPhones with an active Alexa App.

YoursTruly already has a history of commercial success. In September 2020, AdTonos partnered with Octave Audio and Audi representative PHD Media. Together, the brands launched an interactive ad that allowed listeners with an Amazon Alexa-powered smart speaker to listen to one of three radio stations – Absolute Radio, Kiss Radio, and Magic Radio – and use YoursTruly to book a test drive on the newest Audi model. If the listener said “yes”, the ad used geolocation technology to determine the nearest Audi dealer to immediately start the booking process.

A new era of audio advertising

This year marked the 100th anniversary of radio commercials, with the first ever radio commercial being said to have aired on August 28 1922 by New York radio station WEAF. This was the same year as the formation of the British Broadcasting Company (BBC), which enjoyed a complete monopoly of UK radio from 1927 until 1973, when the UK’s first independent radio station, LBC, was launched.

Between these years, third-party broadcasting in the UK was illegal. However, the thirst for more diversified radio stations was so strong that ‘pirate’ radio stations (such as the famous Radio Caroline) were driven to broadcast from boats anchored just outside of British territory. This allowed them to skirt around broadcasting restrictions, without breaking the law.

To celebrate how far we have come since then, AdTonos recently hosted an exclusive product event for YoursTruly to share insight into what the future of technology would look like back in the 80s. It celebrated the best of what technology has to offer, and gave industry leaders insight into the new era of audio advertising that we are moving towards.

AdTonos even created its own music video, inspired by the legendary Electric Light Orchestra. Marcinik explains that the video, which is set in 2095, tells the story of a man that falls in love with a woman. However, he is so consumed by his digital life that he gradually begins to pay less and less attention to her until she finally leaves him.

“Our YoursTruly event was all about storytelling. We told a story of love and tech, showing an analogy that the tech is as good as our commitment to it. It's actually the same with love and relationships. It could be exciting, bad, one-directional, or fulfilling,” he says.

The event, which was held at East Wintergarden in London on Tuesday, November 8 2022, promised the audience a “futuristic and retrospective journey”. You can watch the full video below:

Digital Audio Brand Strategy Brand Advertising

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