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Audio advertising: How brands can build trust through emotional and contextual connection



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February 28, 2024 | 5 min read

Audio advertising can forge strong brand connections, but the effectiveness can be rooted in its contextual relevance to the audience.

Audio advertising is experiencing a renaissance thanks to its unique ability to forge a personal bond with listeners. 

Listeners actively engaging in this medium develop a stronger cognitive and emotional association that can lead to higher trust for brands. Brands benefit significantly by connecting with their audience on this more profound level, moving beyond mere reach to create relationships and transform audio into a meaningful experience.

A Magna Global and Audacy study found that 74% of people include audio in their daily activities, and 40% plan their day around audio content. This substantial engagement leads to significant results: ads that blend well with listeners' routines increase brand connection by 12%. However, ads that don't align only see a 3% increase in brand connection.

This emphasis on personalization and integration into daily life highlights the adaptability of audio advertising, setting the stage for its effectiveness in contextual targeting, where the nuances of listener behavior and preferences play a pivotal role in crafting messages that resonate on a deeper level.

The power of contextual targeting in audio advertising

One aspect of contextual targeting that distinguishes it is its capacity to connect with daily activities, such as commutes, workouts, or household tasks, thereby engaging audiences through integration into their everyday routines. Contextually relevant audio ads that match the listener's mood and context using the right tone and music can be a powerful tool to help evoke emotions and enhance brand recall. Aligning the ad's emotional tone with the product — such as upbeat music for energy supplements or wellness themes for organic goods — heightens its effectiveness. 

Similarly, let's say a financial services company advertises on a business-oriented podcast; the context is aligned with the audience's interests and mindset. For instance, a podcast discussing investment strategies, market trends, or entrepreneurship offers an ideal backdrop for financial products like business loans, investment accounts, or financial planning services.

While brands should create more resonant and favorable connections with their audience by recognizing and aligning with their emotional states, it is essential to strike a delicate balance by interacting thoughtfully concerning their emotions without infringing on personal boundaries or exploiting sentiments. Recognizing this dynamic landscape enhances ad relevance and builds trust with audiences.

Innovation at the forefront of establishing emotional connections with context

The audio advertising industry is blending technology and creativity like never before. Brands can shift their focus from mere product promotion to creating immersive experiences that prioritize storytelling and emotional engagement. These developments have enabled more targeted and personalized advertising, underscoring the importance of context to forge deeper emotional ties.

Contextual innovations, such as Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI), have revolutionized audio advertising by tailoring ads in real-time to listener contexts like location or time, laying the groundwork for personalized experiences. DAI is leveraged by programmatic audio, which automates ad buying with data insights for more efficient placement and targeting while enhancing audio advertising's engagement, precision, and alignment with listener preferences. 

Emotions are crucial in influencing behavior and can be an essential component of ads that contextually resonate and are more likely to inspire action. Advertisers can tap into the listener's environment and mindset to craft ads that evoke emotions such as happiness, excitement, nostalgia, or comfort – emotions often effectively communicated through music. 

One innovation, mood targeting, exemplifies this strategy of engaging audiences through contextually relevant interactions.

Mood targeting: Enhancing brand connections through emotional alignment

Mood targeting can enhance brand engagement by aligning ads with the mood of the music being played. By strategically positioning ads amid songs that reflect a similar mood, brands can craft messages that resonate more deeply with audiences, providing a more meaningful and contextually relevant advertising experience - all while respecting listener privacy through the use of contextual cues matching the ad's content with the listeners' current emotional state. 

For example, a beverage company could amplify its summer refreshment campaign by targeting "happy" and "celebratory" moods, integrating ads with upbeat songs to position its products as ideal for joyful occasions.

Forging authentic relationships in context with audio

By focusing on emotional engagement and contextual relevance, brands can stand out in a fragmented digital landscape, enhancing awareness and building genuine connections with their audience. In a rapidly changing market, the need to innovate is critical. Through audio advertising, brands have an incredible opportunity to create impactful, memorable experiences that resonate with consumers and make a lasting impact.

By Garrison Dua (VP of demand, North America), AdsWizz and Daniel Einhorn (senior manager, content marketing), AdsWizz

Open Mic Audio


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