Audio Ad Effectiveness: Shorter Can Be Better For Certain Demos

Aiming to gain a better understanding of audio ads and their impact, Pandora conducted a test with Nielsen Entertainment and found that shorter ads, eight seconds in length, prompted high recall among 13- to 24-year-olds.

Still, according to separate beta tests the company is beginning with advertisers Orkin, ZipRecruiter and Subway, 30-second ads drove even-higher ad recall -- which indicates the format remains important for audio.

In a blog post, Pandora explained some key initial findings of the tests.

For one, shorter ad formats seem to resonate better among younger demographics, with ad recall rates for shorter audio ads highest among the 25 to 34 demographic. Meanwhile, older demos responded better to longer formats.

In addition, Pandora found that shorter audio ads don’t necessarily equate with less time spent for brands; in one test, a 10-second ad increased time spent with the advertiser's landing page more than the 30-second audio ad.  

Meanwhile, Pandora also said it’s seeing double-digit lifts in ad recall among 10-second and 30-second ads.

Also, advertiser messaging should be considered when figuring out how long to make an ad.  “A complex message may require more time to communicate and break through. There could be an ideal combination of lengths within a campaign flight as well,” the company’s blog post noted.

“We recently kicked off testing various audio ad lengths with the goal of not only measuring brand impact, but also the effects on listening behavior over time. Our theory, based on initial testing, is that there will be instances where 10-second audio ads are optimal, and others where 15- or 30-second ads are more compelling and effective. Certain demos may be more receptive to brief audio spots, where others might prefer to hear messaging within the parameters of traditional ad lengths,”  Lizzie Widhelm, SVP of ad product strategy, Pandora, explained to Digital News Daily.

Widhelm said that the test is just one of several the company is doing in the coming months. Others include mixing ad lengths to understand optimal blends and sequencing, running shorter and longer ads back-to-back while monitoring listener reaction, and experimenting with different types of voices and music beds within audio ads to see which creative styles perform better with different types of listeners. “We will be looking at how all of this can and should play a role in effective audio campaigns,” she said.

1 comment about "Audio Ad Effectiveness: Shorter Can Be Better For Certain Demos".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics, August 28, 2017 at 8 a.m.

    Tobi, I gather from your report that they didn't release the actual recall scores, just percentage difference. That may be an indication of lower than hoped for recall levels---regardless of what length the commercials were. Also, far more important than ad recall---assuming that it's "verified" recall with the respondent required to describe the message or its calim to some degree-----is impact. Did the study show that short commercials performed on a par with---or much lower than----30-second ads for the same  advertisers? I would assume that the latter of these possibilities is the more likely.

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