Actionable audio ads, Zellennials, and the power of testing: More from Veritonic’s Audio Intelligence Summit

Below, more notes from AIS2023, Veritonic’s Audio Intelligence Summit in New York. (See part 1 HERE.)

Actionable Audio Ads (“Alexa, open Pizza Hut”)

Charles Cadbury, CEO of London-based Say It Now, a voice assistant advertising firm, made the transatlantic hop to describe an interactive experience in which smart speaker users could order a pizza by voice. He was interviewed by Damian Scragg, General Manager, International Sales at Veritonic, and we saw a video dramatization of the smart-speaker interaction resulting in a pizza delivery to a group of friends playing Monopoly.

In speaking of “the democracy of information,” Cadbury asserted that by the end of next year there will be more voice-enabled devices than humans. At the same time, people spend 30% of their time in audio, and only eight percent of ad dollars are committed to audio. A lack of engaging audio advertising options inspired his company’s work in actionable advertising, noting that it delivers precise metrics.


In a session titled “Partnership is the New Pre-Roll” (moderated by Veritonic VP Marketing Kristin Charron) Scott Marino (Senior Brand Partner at Morning Brew) talked about addressing the “Zellennial audience” by taking podcasts and turning them into multimedia shows. What used to be a singular podcast episode acn be a long-form video, for example. Extensions like that give audiences many more opportunities to interact and consume. Along the same line, a preroll or midroll can be turned into a longer and more interactive experience — engaging the audience with the host as influencer.

In the same session Samantha Sweig, Associate Director Analytics at Havas Media, noted that these bold customizations result from careful attention to customer needs. In some cases, as with a client in the financial services sector, that resulted in the creation of a branded podcast which is now in its third season. With that vehicle, the team can measure customer conversion events like opening a certain type of account.

The Power of Testing

James Clarke, Senior Director Digital & Social at PepsiCo, held forth in a session focused on the premise of testing as a certain indicator of performance. The session promoted host company Veritonic, and Clarke emphasized a “labor of love” approach involving multiple teams. His description of testing processes invoked an intense amount of creation to create an audio brand persona. The result includes new audio logos and sonic identities, including what he called “full soundscapes” that map to customer experience.

Thad Smith, Senior Global Brand Manager, SMB at Indeed, noted “When people hear themselves in your work, they gravitate to you more.” He observed that generative media must apply the same standards.

Danielle Linden, Senior Director, Marketing at Sport Clips, described audio development around a massaging shampoo product, creating sounds of the treatment from shower to haircut. She described “peaks and valleys within certain sounds,” and extensive testing from pre-market to final product. “It’s a backward step if you don’t do pre-market testing,” Linden asserted.

Brad Hill