A Joint Study by Audacy and Veritonic Highlights How to Make Audio Ads Most Effective

PHILADELPHIA, PA – February 13, 2023 – A groundbreaking audio study, conducted by Audacy, in partnership with Veritonic – the industry’s comprehensive audio research and analytics platform – concluded that in audio ads, four key features maximize intent to purchase, recall, and brand favorability: sonic branding, music, voice, and message.

Sonic branding is the single most effective way for marketers to improve brand recognition and purchase. It’s central to how we feel about and identify with brands. A sound logo that’s deployed consistently over time can reinforce a visual and verbal brand identity and enhance brand recall. Sonic branding:

Whether it’s curating custom compositions or selecting simple melodies, the key is to select music that aligns with a brand’s core values and brand personality. Music can be utilized to reinforce what the brand stands for, capture attention within ads, and connect with target audiences. Incorporating music into ads drives purchase intent by 5%.  Music also helps ads stay top of mind and propels intent to purchase, and ads with music were more memorable, realizing 4% higher recall.

With the explosive growth of audio-first platforms such as podcasts, music streaming, and voice assistants, brands are increasingly communicating with consumers through voice. There’s always great debate over voice – will a female voice or male voice resonate best, young and energetic or mature and authoritative?  It turns out, the most significant and consistent driver for success was multi-voice. While ultimately, the voice that works best depends on brand personality and which voices jive best with established identity and target audience – the study has found there are some tactics that show success across brands and industries (multi-voice).  Ads with multiple voices increase recall by 10%.

The script matters too. The basics – how many times you hear the brand name matters; how many times you’re exposed to an ad campaign matters. When the brand is mentioned at least four times, purchase intent increases by 4%. Brand mentions in disclaimers factor into this increase as well.

“The study, based on an incredibly rigorous design that combines content analysis and survey methodologies, spans creative elements in OTA and podcast ads, across auto, financial service, CPG, and entertainment categories,” said Idil Cakim, Senior Vice President of Research and Insights, Audacy.  “It shows the impact of creative element choices on how brands are perceived and stay top of mind. And how sonic messaging ushers consumers through the purchase funnel to purchase.”

“The question on everyone’s mind is no longer should I be using audio, but what should my audio sound like?,” said Scott Simonelli, CEO, of Veritonic. “Creative testing is an indispensable tool for answering that question.  It enables brands to invest in the powerful and highly personal medium with confidence, knowing that their audio accurately represents their brand while achieving their business goals.”

To download the study, visit https://audacyinc.com/sound-creative/.


In search of the ideal audio advertisement, we did a content analysis on 113 ads from OTA and podcast platforms, across entertainment, auto, CPG, and financial service categories. The content analysis delved into 20 attributes, including voice over gender, sonic branding type, and ad tone. We then ran a custom survey asking 330+ consumers[1] their opinions about the ads and the brands they represent. Within 48 hours of their responses, they were contacted a second time to gauge ad recall.

Advertising on the number one reach medium will get you the most ears, but the analysis shows that to keep them, it’s worthwhile to invest in these specific creative drivers.  How an ad sounds has a big impact – it affects our mood, emotion, and memory.  From a branding perspective, sounds can be used to cue emotions and create a state of feeling in the listener that can evoke brand recognition and even prompt purchases.

About Audacy

Audacy, Inc. is a leading multi-platform audio content and entertainment company that connects with 200 million consumers. Powered by its exclusive, premium audio content that includes unrivaled leadership positions in news and sports radio, Audacy operates one of the country’s two scaled radio broadcasting groups, a rapidly growing direct-to-consumer digital audio platform, multiple audio networks, a major event business and a leading, award-winning podcast studio Learn more at www.audacyinc.com, Facebook (Audacy Corp), X (@AudacyCorp), LinkedIn (@Audacy-Inc), Instagram (@lifeataudacy) and Threads (@AudacyCorp).

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