With people connected to screens more than ever these days, there will come a time when people won’t be able to be on a screen more than they already are, which is where audio marketing comes in.
Even though people are looking at screens constantly, audio is just as important as visuals. For instance, someone is watching TV, but as soon as the ads come on they begin looking at their phone instead. This is called second screening – the act of supplementing a screen with another screen. As of 2015, Adweek reported that 87% of Americans are looking at a second screen while they watch TV. So, while people are not necessarily paying attention to their primary screen, the TV, they are still listening, which is one instance in why audio has become ever more important! Any chance advertisers have of people looking up from their phone, tablet, or laptop to watch their ad is with intriguing audio – whether it be dialogue, music, etc.
The Rise of Virtual Assistants
We’ve already written about podcasts and the benefits of branded audio content, but now voice-powered virtual assistants such as Alexa, Cortana, Siri, and Google Home, among others, have come into the picture. Brands are still looking into how to best utilize the features of virtual assistants. As Adage reported, these ‘hearables’ are a “throwback to the days when radio ads ruled, but with a twist: Instead of simply talking at consumers, new technologies have allowed brands to have a two-way voice dialogue”. Burger King recently had an ad that had Google Home read the Wikipedia page of the Whopper. Every household that had a Google Home perked up when it heard that on TV and began reading. This is a wildly innovative way to market, and while it didn’t go exactly as planned, there will be many more of these types of campaigns in the months and years to come.
Visuals are Still King
While audio is starting a takeover, visuals will always remain king. Why? As we mentioned, people are looking at screens more than ever before. Although audio is critical, and the new wave of virtual assistants will surely shake up the way some businesses market, visuals will remain at the forefront because of scientific research. A report from National Geographic says, “the brain processes tactile and visual memories through a similar mechanism, but that auditory memory is processed differently”. That said, multi-sensory marketing with visuals on the TV and audio being prompted on a hearable? Those together make for the most powerful and memorable experience.
Sources: http://www.adweek.com/lostremote/accenture-report-87-of-consumers-use-second-screen-device-while-watching-tv/51698, http://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/bk-google-home-stunt-reflects-audio-branding-era/308652/, http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/03/140312-auditory-memory-visual-learning-brain-research-science/