Rituals, as routine as running errands and doing chores, are also key audio-consumption moments in people’s lives and create positive environments for advertisers, according to new research conducted by MAGNA’s Media Trials unit and leading multi-platform audio content and entertainment company, Audacy. The study found that advertisers who aligned with listeners’ rituals saw a greater lift in brand excitement (+10%) and brand relevance (+8%).
The study, Aligning with Rituals: The Contextual Foundation of Audio, also noted that consumers experience greater “feelings of connection” with brands that synchronize with their audio rituals, by +12%, compared to +3% for non-aligned ads. MAGNA and Audacy tested both genre-based ads—such as a telecom brand advertising during an entertainment broadcast—and ritual-based ads—such as destination advertising during a “me-time” ritual–to examine the spectrum of contextual-alignment opportunities.
“We’ve studied contextual in video before, but this is our first time to study it in audio, so we wanted to explore how consumers reacted to all types of audio advertising, from contextually aligned to non-aligned, across every daypart and layers of the funnel,” said Kara Manatt, EVP, Managing Director, Intelligence Solutions, MAGNA. “We were especially intrigued to note how daily rituals imply moments of calm and continuity in listeners’ lives and that brands that tap into these touchstones benefit tremendously.”
Contextually aligned ads have the propensity to both excite (+10%) and create relevance (+8%) for brands, especially among those who are in-market. Further, contextual alignment boosts brand metrics that matter most, such as brand favorability (+8%), search intent (+12%), and purchase intent (+9%).
Just what are consumers doing as they stream podcasts and listen to music? A ranking of typical listening rituals featured in a previous Audacy study, Audio Rituals was topped by running general errands (85%) and doing home maintenance (84%). Consumer engagement levels, though, were most heightened during me-time moments (73%), putting my child to bed (70%) and exercising outdoors (68%).
Audacy’s Audio Rituals study also determined that 74% of listeners incorporated audio into their daily rituals and 40% planned their day/activities around audio content.
“Audio advertisers can amplify the effectiveness of their buys through ritual moments,” said Idil Cakim, SVP, Head of Research and Insights, Audacy. “Study participants agreed that the stronger the match between advertisement and content, the better the outcome for KPIs like brand favorability and purchase intent.” Seventy-eight percent of participants agreed that strong content/ad matches mattered in brand favorability and 80% for purchase intent.
Other key findings include:
- Mood Boosters: Participants who felt “energized or excited” by their audio content also were 24% more likely to state the test ads “caught my attention” (+24% lift) and were more likely to be open to the ads at the time of listening (+16% lift). These engaged and excited listeners also were more likely to search for the brand (+10%).
- Contextual Enhancement: Contextually aligning ads amplifies the information shared in audio ads – this is especially true among in-market audiences, who agree that these contextually-aligned ads “taught them something new” (73%).
- Dialed-In Dispatches: Regardless of the type of contextual alignment (ritual or genre-based), each approach has the propensity to drive search intent (+15% and +16%, respectively).
Aligning with Rituals: The Contextual Foundation of Audio ran controlled testing among 1,920 weekly audio listeners who listened to 30-minute content blocks, ranging from podcasts to news, sports and music, interspersed with ads from three brands, covering the retail, telecom and travel industries. The participants answered a range of questions to determine advertising effectiveness and establish their mood and receptivity.