Ad Infinitum

Demonstrated = Persuaded

October 03, 2023 Stew Redwine Season 1 Episode 4
Demonstrated = Persuaded
Ad Infinitum
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Ad Infinitum
Demonstrated = Persuaded
Oct 03, 2023 Season 1 Episode 4
Stew Redwine

Ad Infinitum is the only podcast solely focused on audio ads - the creatives who make them and/or the latest thinking that informs them, how the space is evolving, and a round up of recent audio ads and analysis by Stew Redwine, VP Creative at Oxford Road, and each episode's guest. The first season's episodes focus on individual Audiolytics™ Key Components and how they show up in the ads for some of the top spenders in audio. Episode 4 is titled "Demonstrated = Persuaded" and Focuses on Audiolytics™ Key Component #4, "Demonstration: How does it work?".

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Ad Infinitum is Presented by Oxford Road, Produced by Caitlyn Spring & Ezra Fox, mixed & sound designed by Zach Hahn, and written & hosted by Stew Redwine.

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Show Notes Transcript

Ad Infinitum is the only podcast solely focused on audio ads - the creatives who make them and/or the latest thinking that informs them, how the space is evolving, and a round up of recent audio ads and analysis by Stew Redwine, VP Creative at Oxford Road, and each episode's guest. The first season's episodes focus on individual Audiolytics™ Key Components and how they show up in the ads for some of the top spenders in audio. Episode 4 is titled "Demonstrated = Persuaded" and Focuses on Audiolytics™ Key Component #4, "Demonstration: How does it work?".

Support the Show.

Ad Infinitum is Presented by Oxford Road, Produced by Caitlyn Spring & Ezra Fox, mixed & sound designed by Zach Hahn, and written & hosted by Stew Redwine.

Stew Redwine (00:01):
Ad Infinitum is the only podcasts solely focused on audio ads. Procreated to make them, the latest thinking that informs them, how the space is evolving, and my favorite part, a round up of recent audio ads. Ad campaign analysis by yours truly, Stew Redwine, VP Creative at Oxford Road. And each episodes guest...

This episode's title is Demonstrated Equals Persuaded, inspired by one of my favorite lines from Aristotle's rhetoric, written 2300 years ago, and as relevant today as it was then. Quote, "We are most persuaded when we consider a thing demonstrated." Aristotle's talking there about human persuasion that when we can see a thing happening that we understand that it actually occurs, we are persuaded.

Let me show you, here's how it works, but how do we do that in audio? We've gotta use the theater of the mind. That's why we've assembled a powerhouse panel from across the Podcast Polyverse. Amelia Coomber, Head of Marketing at Podscribe and host of Make Better. Thank you so much for joining us.

Amelia Coomber (01:03):
Hi. Great to be here.

Stew Redwine (01:05):
An... and Adam McNeil, Amelia's fellow host of Make Better, and VP Marketing at Adopter Media, welcome.

Adam McNeil (01:10):
Excited to be here. Break out some ads.

Stew Redwine (01:12):
Heck, yes. And thank you both for having me on Make Better, that was a ton of fun. So, fun to be listening to some more ads with you. And Arielle Nissenblatt, Head of Community and Content at

Arielle Nissenblatt (01:25):
Thanks for having me. Not my favorite Aristotle quote, but I'll let it slide.

Stew Redwine (01:29):
And then, last, but not least, Paul Riismandel, Chief Insights Officer at Partner at Signal Insights. Paul, stoked to have you on.

Paul Riismandel (01:36):
Thanks. Stoked to be here.

Stew Redwine (01:37):
For sure. This episode, were gonna be listening to some of the top spenders in podcasts that's via Magellan's look at the space. For the month of June, we're gonna be focusing on the AudioLytics key component number four demonstration. AudioLytics is the framework and the formula we use to both audit and construct persuasive audio at Oxford Road. It's composed of nine key components. We've done three episodes s... uh, so far, talking about those first three key components set up, value propositioning. This is episode four on demonstration and then well unpack substantiation, offer, scarcity, path, and finally execution.

Automated (02:17):
AudioLytics key component four demonstration.

Stew Redwine (02:17):
So, for demonstration, simply put, here's how it works. That's what demonstration means. No matter how well you accomplish the first three components, you've wasted all of it if the audience can't picture themselves using the thing. Yes, demonstration is that interval to your service or product's success. The good news is that humans are built to watch closely. Especially, if they're watching another human.

Back in the 90s, a team of Italian neuroscientists made a groundbreaking discovery in the brains of Macaques monkeys. Motor cells inside their brains fired the exact same way when one monkey conducted a behavior as when it watched another monkey do the same thing. So, in their brains, and in humans brains as well, watching created this sensation of doing.

These cells are called mirror neurons, have unlocked major advancements in the study of how people relate to each other. They've helped clarify what exactly is happening in our brains when we experience media and imagery. And mirror neurons help explain the voyeuristic impulses that commands audiences attention. And when we watch another person experience something, our imaginations automatically simulate that experience for ourselves, inside of ourselves, and we feel a miniature version of it.

But, what do we do when there's only audio, right? So, for simulcast, when there's video, that's great. But, what do we do when there's only audio? You have to use the theater of the mind and that's what we're gonna talking about today, is folks that are relying on painting a picture in our minds and those same old mirror neurons can go to work even if the person, your listener, is envisioning, is in their own head.

It's also discussed in a great book, Blind Sight, the mostly hidden ways marketing reshapes our brains. You can use unique attributes like sound effects, music, multivoices, even silence to demonstrate in unexpected ways. With no further adieu, let's listen to some ads and talk about how well did they handle demonstration, which is how does it work. Four top spenders from June 2023 in podcasting, according to Magellan, are Better Help, Hello Fresh, Instacart, and Angi Group. Amazon was on the list, but I didn't include them because they have spend across a couple of different advertisers. Amazon music and Audible, and others, so.

As far as the top actual spenders, we've got Better Help at 9.2 million, approximately. Hello Fresh at 3.9 million. Instacart at 3 million. And the Angi Group at 2.5 million in 2023. All right, guys, let's get started. Let's see how they showed up in podcast and how well they did a job of communicating how it works. You guys ready?

Amelia Coomber (04:34):
Let's do it.

Arielle Nissenblatt (04:35):
Let's do it.

Paul Riismandel (04:35):

Stew Redwine (04:36):
All right. Here we go.

Advertisement (04:38):
This show is sponsored by Better Help. Imagine this, you're looking at a scale. On one side, you've got everything you do for others. On the other side, you've got everything you do for yourself. Is it balanced? There was a time when my scale was way off on the do-for-others side, putting the needs of others way before my own. Then, I discovered this thing called boundaries. In other words, I had to clarify my values and align my decisions and my actions in a way that allowed me to stay within the boundaries that I'd set for myself and for others. I was able to balance out my scale and so can you.

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Stew Redwine (05:54):
Adam, I'd like to start with you.

Adam McNeil (05:55):
Absolutely. So, I mean, first off, he jumps right into exactly what we're talking about. Demonstrating what the product does. And he doesn't even talk about what therapy is or even talk about the brand until near the latter part of the ad, so he's painting a picture that you can see yourself in where, maybe, I'm an overworked person because I'm a giver, giver, giver, and I never take time to give back to myself. And he is framing this as, "No, I am that listener right now."

And I get through this ad, I'm like, "Yeah, that does sound like me. That does sounds like me. Oh, man. But, yeah, this sounds exhausting for my life." And then, next thing you know, he goes, "You should give therapy a try because therapy's one of those ways to help balance out the things in your life like that scale." And you're still holding onto that image of the scale in your head. So, I think, in terms of demonstration, like, it's phenomenal. The way that he framed it, did really, really well there.

My only take on the negative side is and I don't know this podcast well, which is a critique that I'll always give is coming from I'm only hearing the ad without listening to the rest of the episode. Is that he has this tone of a podcaster voice, doing an ad read, an ad r- read voice, which is one voice that I tend to dislike coming from a buyers perspective is that... that tone where it comes across like, "Yeah, this is a very formal thing, not a true authentic experience in the moment." That would be that only critique that I have. Otherwise, it's very well... very well done.

Stew Redwine (07:06):
Scale of 1 to 10?

Adam McNeil (07:08):
I- I'd give it a solid 8. Uh, he doesn't give any endorsement himself, but it's a- a solid ad in itself, uh, without the endorsement.

Stew Redwine (07:15):
All right. The game is afoot. Arielle, how 'bout you? What do you think of this one?

Arielle Nissenblatt (07:18):
I love when podcasters tell us exactly what to do. So, in this show, picture yourself, I- I don't know if he says that exactly, but you are, kind of, put in the position of imagining yourself as a scale, right? Like, w- which side of you is being weighed in what direction and you, sort of, have to think about yourself. You, sort of, have to put yourself in the shoes of this person and how you might be reacting to therapy, or the- the need for therapy.

So, I- I've been saying this for a while, I think instructive audio is the future. I think there's gonna be more and more podcasts coming down the line that ask us to go on a walk, or ask us to imagine this and that, and ask us to think about mindfulness and things like that. And I think when we ask our listeners to do something, they are inclined to do that.

So, this ad, I- I do agree with Adam, while it's really well-spoken and it hits all the points and it gives me a reason to try this product, it is very much in an ad-spoken voice. Like, it... I actually, at first, did not think that this was a ho... a host-read ad. I thought it was an announcer-read ad. So, that was just a-a maybe negative point.

But, other than that, I do really like that it asks me to put myself in this situation and to consider why this product might be helpful for me. However, another potential negative is just that I am so burnt out on Better Help and (laughs) you know that's just a symptom of it being one of the biggest spenders.

Stew Redwine (08:40):
So, you're gonna have to go seek therapy for how burned out you are on these guys telling people to get therapy.

Arielle Nissenblatt (08:46):
I'm burnt out.

Adam McNeil (08:47):
What an ad that would be. "Are you tired of hearing Better Help ads-"

Arielle Nissenblatt (08:50):

Adam McNeil (08:50):
"... do you they bug you at night? Well."

Arielle Nissenblatt (08:51):

Stew Redwine (08:52):
Out of 10, what would you rate it, Arielle?

Arielle Nissenblatt (08:55):
I'm gonna give it a 6.5 outta 10.

Stew Redwine (08:57):
All right, we're going into point fives. All right. That's good.

Arielle Nissenblatt (09:00):

Stew Redwine (09:00):
Going to the-

Arielle Nissenblatt (09:00):

Stew Redwine (09:03):
... tenth place. No, it's g... 6.3? Oh, wow. All right. It just got downgraded. It's all right. AudioLytics goes to the hundredths place, so I respect it. Um, all right. Paul. What about you? What do you think of this ad?

Paul Riismandel (09:11):
Its well-demonstrated, but for a particular persona. There are going to be listeners who will not identify with this circumstance. If you don't identify with this circumstance, are you gonna stay tuned in, is this relevant to you, are you gonna stick around? So, for the circumstance that he outlines, it's very relevant. It's well... I think it's very well done.

I really appreciate they have Better Help at the top. It is good to have that brand name in there, not only at the bottom, 'cause even if someone tunes out because halfway through, they're like, "Well, this isn't me, this isn't my issue, this isn't my problem, I'm fine," or, "I'm not fine, but this isn't my issue," at least they got the Better Help part. And I... and I think that's really critical, actually.

I think that's super critical and I think that's what we've seen time and again when testing ads is that get those mentions in there and don't just leave 'em for the end. And people will remember, even if they didn't hook onto other parts of the ad. And that's that's gonna be my critique. It's both great, right, that- that for the person that identifies with this circumstance, I think there would be a lot of resonance and it's gonna work really well. But, it may not work for everyone who might be a potential Better Help customer.

And that's why you don't just run one ad. (laughs) You wi... and that's why you don't just want... run one set of copy. And that's why you wanna build storytelling, I think, into your ads over time and not just stick with the same thing all the time. So, that's that's where I am. I do... I'm not bothered at all by the f... by it being, sort of, ad-voice. Again, in any testing that I've done, hu... over hundreds of campaigns, we don't really see listeners responding negatively to different sort of tones of voice. They respond more to the story, they respond more to what the points are, and what they hear.

There are listeners who tell us, "Well, I don't like ads," and we don't... I don't know that they distinguish from that tone of voice. It doesn't mean that I don't think there are listeners who may respond differently to different tone of voice, but sort of, in general, podcast listeners are, sort of, receptive to the ads. They know they're ads, so the shift up in that tone, I don't see a lot of strong indicators. Again, these are things we can always drill down and test more, but I don't see really strong indicators that it's either a turn off or a turn on, for that matter.

Stew Redwine (11:27):
It's interesting you zoom in on that, with the voice tone that you're talking about. For those of us that are the craftspeople that work on them, we don't like it 'cause we appreciate the finer things, or are trying to hit this more refined target. And so, it's like, "Ugh, oh, I don't like that. It doesn't feel right," 'cause that's not, like, what we're aspiring to. But, does, you know...

Automated (11:46):
The people that do the living and dying in this town...

Stew Redwine (11:49):
... like, does it really affect them? But then- then, I come all the way back around to it doesn't hurt. I- I don't think it ever hurts, particularly in podcasts, to have it sound more personal. Like, that's never gonna hurt.

Paul Riismandel (12:01):
No, it's never gonna hurt. Absolutely. It's never gonna hurt. But, I've also s... tested campaigns where the announcer reads... uh, perform, the host reads, right? This is great copy. So, right here, I still think that with its particular ad, I think that the podcasters' done a fine job with it, um... You know, I- I get that, sort of, the- the fine distinction. And, you know, I'm not saying that if, uh, this were read in a s... in a somewhat more conversational style, or it matched, sort of, the tone of their presentation, that we wouldn't see a difference, I don't know if we would.

Stew Redwine (12:33):
Great point. So, on a scale on 1 to 10, what do you grade this one?

Paul Riismandel (12:35):
I'm on a 7.5 here.

Stew Redwine (12:37):
Oh, 7.5. We got a 8, 6.3, a 7.5, and now, it's down to you, Amelia, what do you think of this ad and how do you grade it?

Amelia Coomber (12:46):
Mm-hmm. I'd give it a 6.5. I think on the theme of demonstration, I think they were halfway there. The scale's an interesting one because, you know, to everybody else's point, you, sort of, imagine it. I think they could've taken it a little bit, uh... like, another step further in the sense that, maybe, paint a picture about what not having boundaries looks like. And that could be with your partner, or that could be in, you know, in work, that could be with friends. So, I would've like to see more of that rather than just this, sort of, visual image of this scale and balance.

Like, I think they probably could've put more emphasis on the actual relatability and- and painting a clear picture that everybody goes through versus, like, you know, I- I don't... I'm not a scale. I think they could've probably done a little bit better on the demonstration side and to what everybody else said, I think it in... you know, it sounded very much like it was just very ad-read voice, which is fine and and, maybe, that's what they were trying to go after. But, I think a little more conversational and, you know, again, painting that better picture, giving somebody an instance that they could relate to that they've probably experienced in their life would be a better way.

Stew Redwine (13:39):
Amelia gave it a 6.5. Arielle a 6.3. and Paul and Adam gave it a 7.5 and a 9. The average comes out to a 7.07 and the AudioLytics score for this particular message was a 74.4, which essentially says to me, structurally, pretty much everything is there. It's missing a couple of key things that would help make it more persuasive. But, when I zoom in on demonstration...

What's interesting to me is through the AudioLytics lens, is demonstrating how it works. How does the product itself work? Where looking at this the whole set up of the boundaries and all of this is like his personal segue in to how the idea of therapy works. But, how does Better Help itself actually work? There is some information there, but there could probably be more.

Okay, thank you, guys. One down. Let's listen to the next one. We're talking about Hello Fresh. So, the first was Better Help at 9.2 million dollars in the month of June. Hello Fresh at 3.9 million dollars in the month of June. Let's take a listen to an aircheck from Wizards of Waverly Pod.

Advertisement (14:45):
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No matter your lifestyle, you'll always find delicious recipes on the Hello Fresh menu like, pescatarian and veggie options. Plus, you can even swap proteins and sides to make a recipe just how you like it. This is one of my favorite features about Hello Fresh. I'm always finding meals that sound delicious, but there's just one thing I wish I could change. And with Hello Fresh, I can. No more compromising your meals or your summer plans. Go to and use code WIZARD16 for 16 free meals, plus free shipping. Once again, that's and use code WIZARD16 for 16 free meals, plus free shipping.

Stew Redwine (16:16):
Arielle, why don't you start us off?

Arielle Nissenblatt (16:17):
I think it was demonstrated really well. I know what Hello Fresh is, I know how to get Hello Fresh, I know all the different ways that Hello Fresh can help me if I am looking to lose weight, potentially, or to... You know, it tells me about the pain points that I could possibly have, and then solves those pain points for me. Maybe, I'm busy. The summer, I want special summer meals, all that is there.

What I thought was funny was this mention of macros and another diet-related term and this show is Wizards of Waverly Pod, it's not a health show, it's not a... a- anything to do with that. So, it's kinda like, okay, maybe, this host talks about those things elsewhere on the show. If not, it kinda feels like it's coming out of nowhere. "Macros and measurements," is the phrase that she seems to use. I mean, I guess its talking points that Hello Fresh has provided, but, to me, it was sort of, like, too scientific, too diet-culture related to fit in here.

But, other than that, I liked it. I thought that she sounded friendly, it gave me more information about Hello Fresh than I am used to receiving. I listen to a lot of podcasts and I as I said when we discussed the last ad, I'm burnt out on Hello Fresh, I'm burnt out on Better Help, I'm burnt out on everything that is a top spender. Of course, wha... how can you not be? I hear it 10 times a week, but, this gave me a few other things to think about. So, I liked it for that reason. I'll give it an 8.

Stew Redwine (17:33):
Okay. You'll give it an 8. All right. Amelia.

Amelia Coomber (17:36):
I, honestly... like, I think this is probably a 7 in my opinion. I totally agree with you about the macros and measurements thing. I think, maybe, she was trying to get there by saying you don't have to do that and, maybe, we've all heard of that, so, maybe, that was the sort of tie in there. But, I totally agree with you. I think, you know, when it comes from a demonstration perspective... I think if we were just, like, grade this linearly, like, yes, they- they hit on a lot of points way more than Better Help. You know, they went through all of the details and gave a bunch of use cases.

I do think that there's like a a difficult fine line, like... You know, what they're trying to do by sharing all those use cases and all those specifics and stuff, is making sure that there's a lot of different people that can relate and would get value from this. But, sometimes, I think that that actually doesn't help because there's a point where it's just too much, like, you- you know...

If- if you're listing out 20 different features and benefits, like, you think that that actually opens the audience to a ev... you know, a lot of different people liking it and relating to it. But, I, actually, think it makes people tune out and it accomplishes the opposite. So, I... Again, from a demonstration perspective, yes, that she mentioned all the other... all the things and I think that was great.

But, from a, you know, just a user listening to this and being, like, "Would I be interested in Hello Fresh?" I think I did tune out and it missed the mark a little bit, rather than just finding one thing, or a couple things, that, you know... even if it was only 30% of the audience would really resonate with, you know, that's probably better than saying a bunch of things that only 2% actually ended up taking away value from.

Stew Redwine (18:53):
Potentially using some codified language here and then, also, it's not as single-minded as it could be and and so, you graded it a 7. I saw a lot of head nodding there, Paul, what about, uh, what about you?

Paul Riismandel (19:04):
I think that there's too much in this ad. So, it- it demonstrates, but, it, maybe, demonstrates too much. So, one of the things I found in research is that the more focused in that is on one or two salient points, the more likely it is that listeners remember those points, and they resonate, and they stay with them. The more you you kitchen sink it, the less people retain.

And so, to get more a general kind of idea, but they don't get your specific ideas as much. And that's what I think is going on here. Whereas, I think in the previous ad, we heard a lot of resonance around one particular point, which may not work for everybody, but will work really well if you identify with that persona.

Stew Redwine (19:44):
I like what you said. It's- it's demonstrating a lot. And then, that's kinda how you set that up, and then by the end, it's like it's not demonstrating enough. It's almost like by over... by talking about so much by doing so much, it didn't do anything. There's a great study from Millward Brown that talks about this very thing, that the more messages an ad attempts to communicate, the lower the likelihood of a single message being communicated. This one probably had four, right? At least? So, you're just slicing it thinner and thinner and s... thinner, as opposed to being single-minded. So, what would you grade it?

Paul Riismandel (20:15):
Well, if we say 5 is average, this is a little above average, so I'm giving it a 5.5.

Stew Redwine (20:19):
Okay, you guys, remind me to not bring my creative to you too early when it's in development 'cause I think I'd just get so crushed. Okay, Adam, go ahead.

Adam McNeil (20:30):
I'm gonna go a little bit meta on this for a second because I grew up watching Wizards of Waverly Place. I loved the show, I am their watcher, a- as a kid, growing up. And so, I'm thinking about myself now, and where I am years later, and the type of person who would be listening to this show and I don't think the message lands properly for a person in my shoes. Where I probably am the ideal person that would be listening to this podcast, or I could imagine myself being a listener to this show.

Their show is probably filled with late 20s, or early 20s, people who are, you know, the fans of the show, that grew up watching it and so on, so on. And the ad-read comes across as if it's talking to people that are in their late 30s with multiple kids, their dealing with the conflicts of needing to plan to go on a camping trip, and all these things. It didn't resonate with me at all in that regard.

Like, it felt like it missed the boat on me and I'm not going through those experiences where I could definitely see myself leaning into the, like, "Man, I'm working a remote job, I'm working my butt off in my 20s, all these things are stressful, and cooking can sometimes just be a little daunting." That is a selling point that I think would've been the better selling point to this audience in particular where it's the ease of use the- the simplicity. The protein swaps and stuff like that are really helpful add-ins, too, where I think that could've been a great second point.

But, I do think that it just missed the mark on who they were talking to, based on an assumption I have on who the show's audience would be. Which is all assumption based. I could be incredibly inaccurate on this. But, with that said, I think the ad itself, if you were to place it on a different podcast, probably could've done really well for that podcast, and I think it does hit on some points that are really good.

And I, you know, I don't need to say it any more than everybody else has already said it, the talking points in it felt overwhelming with information. Like, it was too much where I felt like it was, like, I don't know anything at this point. I just probably know enough about Hello Fresh because I've heard about them a billion times elsewhere that to me it doesn't feel that overwhelming only because I've heard it elsewhere. But, if this was the only ad I had ever heard for Hello Fresh, I would leave with a little bit more overwhelm rather than simplicity, which the heartbeat of Hello Fresh is simplicity.

They should be communicating simple messages, that's their whole brand. They want you to ha... be able to cook simply. So, I think they missed the mark on a branding perspective, in that regard. I'm gonna go right down the middle and say, like... If I was the brand and I heard this, I'm not gonna be upset, but I'm not gonna be stoked either, uh... I'd say like a 5.5. I'll go right down the middle, right there just a little bit above average. I'll align with Paul.

Arielle Nissenblatt (22:51):
These splits are fascinating so far, by the way. It's mostly more favorable for Amelia and... or, we tend to agree and the- the two men tend to agree. It's really interesting.

Automated (23:00):

Stew Redwine (23:02):
All right. So, that ad comes in at an average of 6.5 from this fantastic pantheon of podcast professionals. And AudioLytics gave it a score of 77.7, so, actually, scored it a little bit higher than the previous ad. And I would attribute that to, actually, some of the things that I believe you guys were all dinging it for.

It had some more robust information in it and particularly, in the demonstration case, even though, you know, we were split on that that. There is more... a fuller picture of that key component in particular. And so, that's gonna move the score up, but we're still below 90%, which is our target score if were all in market creative, so there's still work to be done.

So, if we're just thinking of it as a message, we've got 180 words, approximately, for the talking points. If I'm too long on demonstration and my score is low, in order to bring my score up, something has to come out, right? So, there would be some other area we would focus on. There would be other key components that we made need to sharpen and absolutely... Like, the consensus here is that if we're single-minded, that then allows everything to be able to row together in the message a lot easier, as opposed to it's trying to go in too many places.

Let's go onto the next one, we've got Instacart at $3 million for the month of June and this is their ad from dispatches from Myrtle Beach.

Advertisement (24:25):
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Stew Redwine (24:53):
All right. Let's start with Paul.

Paul Riismandel (24:55):
Well, they say there's one reason, but they give two. (laughs) It is because you can get 1.5 million unique products from 1,000 retailers, but also, in as fast as one hour. So, that's two reasons. Now, I'm not gonna ding it for that. And- and I'm not sure that that causes any cognitive dissonance at the same time. Look, it's a short ad. You can only do so much work in a short ad. And so, this is, in that way, focused, it is straight forward, it pretty much tells you what you need to know, right?

You're gonna get just about anything and you're gonna get it really fast. So, from that standpoint, it's doing the work. So, you know, if I'm gonna give it a score, I'm gonna say that it's a little, you know, it's- it's a little better than average. Actually, especially, f- f- for a pre-roll. We're gonna go into about a 6.5 on this. Not remarkable, but- but it does the job.

Stew Redwine (25:41):
All right. Adam.

Adam McNeil (25:42):
In the context of a pre-roll, it accomplishes most of what it needs to do. The only thing that I think that could be added in here is give me a product [inaudible 00:25:50] actualization here of exactly what types of products I could be ordering to my door. You know, you could frame it really quickly at the beginning, saying, like, "Look, did you smell your armpits? They smell bad? And you don't have any de... deodorant in the house? Order now through Instacart. You can get over 1.5 million unique products from over 1,000 retailers delivered right to your door in as fast as an hour."

You know, just give me a product that I can imagine in my mind coming to my door. What types of products should I be ordering with Instacart? Can I order a fridge? Can I order this? What is the type of category of product that I should be thinking about when I look at using Instacart? That's the only thing that I think would give this a little bit more of an edge in terms of performance is just giving a visualization... that theater of the mind. Right now, there is no theater of the mind that I can place myself in here. Give me something. Give me something.

Other than that, yeah. Like, 6 out of 10. Like, it tells me what the product is, it tells me what it is. If you're running a pre-roll, you're probably already familiar a p... you're- you're a product that should be familiar to that audience, so you'd probably know more things about Instacart. This accomplishes what it's supposed to do. It's retargeting.

Stew Redwine (26:47):
Hey, Arielle, before I get your grade on this, just when you think about podcasting and- and podcast messages, in general, like, we're talking about the fact that we can see in Magellan that this is a pre-roll. How do you look at the messages and- and the difference between, you know, crafting something for a pre-roll verse a mid-roll verse a post-roll?

Arielle Nissenblatt (27:05):
Yeah, when I'm listening to a podcast and I hear a pre-roll that is not a host-read ad, I usually skip through it. And full disclosure, I have a podcast about podcast recommendations and we use Freaker's ad service and they insert those types of ads and I fully know that people skip through them. So that's the caveat there. I skip through it, you skip through it, we all skip through it.

And to me, its like it- it does the job, but maybe, i- it a brand awareness play and that's fine. But, I don't think its doing much to enlighten me about Instacart. I think it is just throwing the word in my face a few times. I've heard the word Instacart today, I'll hear it again tomorrow on a podcast. I haven't used Instacart in years, but it is the only thing... it is the only grocery delivery service that I can name by name. So, that's something. I would give it a 6.

Stew Redwine (27:51):
Thank you, Arielle. So we have a 6, a 6.5, and a 6. Amelia, how 'bout you?

Amelia Coomber (27:56):
I totally agree with what everybody else said. I think for a pre-roll, it did the job, honestly, I, uh, I wish that more brands like did some form of jingle for a pre-roll because I, uh, like that should just be the default because I feel like there is such an opportunity for for integrating some sort of sound, rather than just some random person talking. So, I- I think the only thing that really didn't hit me and, maybe, this is just the context of the show and what they talk about, but they- they mention something about, so you can spend more times with the ones you love and I just... I- I don't know that... I- I think there could've been something else they could've replaced in that. I mean, when you have so few words and so few a time, in, um, in a pre-roll, I think it's really important to be very specific about what the copy's gonna look like-

Stew Redwine (28:35):

Amelia Coomber (28:35):
... and I think that that could've been switched out for something that, you know, hit a little bit harder you know. Stop lugging your groceries around, or save time... something else, but it just sounded so- so fluffy. Save time, um, spend time with the ones you love or whatver when it's like, how- how much does grocery shopping really take away from those sorts of things?

Stew Redwine (28:52):
Continue scanning.

Amelia Coomber (28:53):
So, that was the only thing. I- I would say again, it's a pre-roll, so its difficult, but, I would say on the scale of pre-rolls, probably a 6 or a 7.

Stew Redwine (29:00):
6.5? Does that-

Amelia Coomber (29:02):
Yeah, 6.5 [inaudible 00:29:02]

Stew Redwine (29:02):
... translate to a 6.5? Okay. So, for Instacart, we've got an average score from the group of a 6.25 so we've been moving down here from a 7.07 with Better Help, Hello Fresh at a 6.5. Now, Instacart at a 6.25. AudioLytics, also... this one scored lower in AudioLytics as well. It scored a 69.4% for many of the reasons, uh, you guys were talking about. Paul, like you said, "What's the number one reason you should try Instacart?" Like, I get hung up on that as well that they go, "Two points."

But, nevertheless, you know, how does it work, it gives you somewhat of an idea of how it works. It can deliver so much from all these different things. I agree, Adam, kinda like what you were saying it was like lets get specific with exactly how does it work. The last one we're gonna listen to here at the lowest spend for the month of June 2023, but still a lot of money, 2.5 million dollars, we've got a spot for the Angi Group on Ratchet and Respectable. Here we go.

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Stew Redwine (31:03):
All right. Let's start with Adam.

Adam McNeil (31:04):
I had to turn down my headphones a little bit during that one and take a a step back. That was... very in my face as an ad-read, first off. And and I think that's also just the nature of this show and the nature of the hosts and so, within the context of the show, like, not a problem. But, if I was just listening to that as somebody who does not listen to this show, like, that took me... took me a- a second to warm up to the cadence, the speech, and everything.

That is my first impression of it. But, when it comes to the second impression of it, is where it says, "Angi is your home for everything home," and "They've made it easier than ever to connect with skilled professionals." That's a great opening statement because they're, basically, telling you that first off, Angi is your access to skilled professionals for any home care need that you have. From plumbing to whatever, you have given me context for who this is. And then, if you're a home projector and you do stuff, they're... you probably need some help there on occasion unless you are a skilled, trained professional. So, in that regard, I actually think they do a really good job of framing what Angi is for. They outlined really clearly that it's the easiest way to access those professionals.

I like it. There's no endorsement in terms of "I" statements. They do give a great endorsement from saying like, "Angi is a great tool," but they don't say "I hired someone from Angi," or anything like that, which I would love to hear if there was a use case that they has used it for. That's what I would like to hear in the ad-read itself, but other than that, I think it's a good ad. A 7.5.

Stew Redwine (32:18):
All right. Coming in second place, right behind Better Help. Adam, ranking Angi at a 7.5. Paul, how about you?

Paul Riismandel (32:26):
I got lost on this ad. I know what it was talking about, but I honestly found it difficult to follow and I do think it's the copy and delivery combined. And I... And again, I have no particular problem with the delivery, like Adam mentions, it's probably very consistent with the the podcast and that's fine. But, it makes it feel like a lot was being crammed in and I... and I do think a lot was being crammed in... you know?

I like that- that they mentioned the brand up front, but it really feels like this was a high school essay. Thesis statement at the top and now were going to go in (laughs) and- and that's really where it felt like, these bullet points. There's no storytelling here. And so, if you're gonna invest in, you know, a 60-second ad, invest in some storytelling. You have the time to do it, unlike, you know, you do in a 30-second ad. And I don't think that that's quite there 'cause I... what I'm gonna say is, "Well, why do you need to make it easier than ever to connect with skilled professionals?" I mean, honestly. I mean, I get it, I mean, sure, fine. But, you know, hey, my brother in law is a carpenter, why not use him? My friend's cousin is a plumber, uh, it's all good.

What is Angi solving for me here? And I get it's, sort of, lower in... on this, right, you know, oh, I can compare quotes. Oh, okay, that's great/ Well, maybe that's the whole thesis statement, right? I think that it could i- if (laughs) it was even stripped down a little, a bit, it would a better ad. So, with that, I come in more at a, let's just say, a 4.75.

Stew Redwine (33:57):
4.75. We just moved into the hundredths place. We're into new territory now. All right. Amelia, how about you.

Amelia Coomber (34:06):
That is so funny, because I love this. Like, 10 out of 10 in my opinion. It's... it might be the ADHD, and, like, my talking fast and- and in- incapable of, you know, moderating my voice at a certain, you know, level, um... But, I was immediately drawn in and again, to everybody else's point, it... that is not the whole context of the rest of the show. Like, okay bad bad bad, that would hurt my ears. You know, the fact that Adam said he had to turn the volume down probably not a great experience.

But, it got my attention. I don't have a home. I've never heard of Angi, but like, now I know. And- and I would totally use this. I think they did a really good job of, uh, you know, all the different use cases there. It was all centered around one thing, so, I don't... I think it did a better job of, like, the too much demonstration. Like, it wasn't this- this, "If you're a commercial person real estate guy," or if you're, you know. It was just all right, if you have a fu... home, and, you know, fixing your home sucks because you ne... you need people that you can trust like, that was the takeaway there. And I really liked it. I really did. Yeah, I- I... honestly, 10 out of 10.

Stew Redwine (35:00):
10. Okay. A 10, a 4.75, and a 7.5. Arielle, what do we do?

Arielle Nissenblatt (35:06):
I have a few things to say about this. The first is the energy worked for me. However, yeah, I mean, I think you really need to understand this host to understand this hosts ad-reads and it does not work out of context. But, it doesn't need to work out of context, right? Like, Lindsey Graham, for example, the podcaster, not the Senator. Is often doing host-read ads on other shows because his voice is just a voice, right? Like, he... at this point, Wonder reuses his voice and that's great. He can be placed anywhere and it makes sense.

This person could not be placed (laughs) anywhere and make it make sense. This person has to be on Ratchet and Respectable. One thing I loved is that he made a verb out of it, "You gotta Angi that." And that could be copy or it could be him. But either way, I thought that that was something that, that was great. It was makes me l... associate with the brand a little bit more. It makes it into a verb, we like that. E- e- everybody wants their product to be made into a verb. Everybody wants that kind of name recognition. So, if this person can make that off, I'm sure Angi could... would be very happy.

One thing that was not mentioned that is mentioned in other ad-reads for Angi that I've heard, is that Angi is rebranded from Angie's List. And that is something that has been mentioned on other podcasts and I wonder if, at this point, Angi is now saying we're done with that, we've done the- the switch. But, I, kind of, still thought, like, is this another product, or is it Angie's List rebranded as Angi? I was not sure, as somebody who does have prior recognition of Angi.

And so, most of the other ad-reads I've heard about it will mention that in some way and this did not. So, with that in mind, the excitement got me. I think if I loved this host, I would love this ad-read. I still would not necessarily be interested in m... purchasing right now. But, if I ever needed to, I would only know of Angie's List and therefore, I give it a 6.2. (laughs)

Stew Redwine (36:47):
A (laughs) 6.2. All right, guys. So, that is all four of them. And this last one, Angi, from an AudioLytics standpoint, scored a 73.8%, so, right in there with the rest of 'em. And what I'm noticing across all of these is, like, just your scores and the AudioLytics scores pretty much tracked Better Help at a 7.07 average with AudioLytics at a 74.4. The Hello Fresh ad at 6.5 and AudioLytics at a 77.7 and we identified 'cause some of the stuff that might've caused us to grade it down, is some of the stuff AudioLytics might've said, well, at least that information was in there. So, that's an interesting one.

Instacart average of 6.25 and AudioLytics score of 69.4. And then, Angi at an average of 7.11 and an AudioLytics was 73.8. That is so close with Better Help. I think what I wanna ask the group is, can we tip the scales one way or the other? The big takeaways that I've got here for Chief Audio Officers is, like, one, a single-minded message is better. And this is something we kinda saw all of these struggle with, right? Y... we need to strip down the message and really focus. And we all believe in and want to use the theater of the mind, but I don't- I don't think I'm going out here on a limb. You guys chuck me on this. I don't know if any of these did a great job of using the theater of the mind.

Arielle Nissenblatt (38:08):
Yeah, I think after the first or second one, I even stopped finding what that theater of the mind was in each one. And I just started commenting on each of them as ads in and of themselves, not- not for much for that one perspective.

Adam McNeil (38:24):
Yeah. I- I would almost say the decline in progression from the first one, they slowly lost... they'd hurt mind... uh, as- as Arielle was saying. The first one, had a clear image in your mind of loo... imagine this, a scale, or whatever. And I think that's an in exchange of personal endorsement. And so, if you are not giving a personal endorsement for a product of how you've used it in your life, you need to find an exchange in which you can place the product in the l... hands of your listeners and how they could see them using the product, or imagining the product, or whatever it is. If you're not gonna give an endorsement of how you've used it in your life, find a way to show them how they could use it in theirs more physically, or visually, in the mind.

Paul Riismandel (38:55):
That's a great point, Adam. I think that's exactly what you do with a good announcer read. With good voice talent, right? And... I mean, that's really in the copywriting, is really where that is. And that's really in the messaging strategy, is r... is pulling out those points. You can, honestly, only expect podcast hosts to do so much work without guidance. It's a... it... it's hard. It's hard to do these. And, uh, hard to do them well and the more guidance that the brand and their agency provide, with regard to where to focus, the better they do. And of course, that- that comes much more to the forward when you have to work with an announcement or a product, because you have to do that work for them.

But I'm thinking about it from that standpoint of, what can we provide them if it's not an endorsed read? What are the examples we can... we can, perhaps, give them to choose from, of which of these, kind of, would resonate with you and where would... and where you are in your life. I think that's a really excellent point.

Stew Redwine (39:49):
And Amelia, your... your summery thoughts and- and looking at these, going, "We wanna be single-minded. We wanna make sure that we're focused." But, wow, did we... did these really use the theater of the mind as well as they could have?

Amelia Coomber (40:01):
I think that the first one was probably the closest and I still think that there's a lot of room improvement there. But, I mean, I- I can't say that I was picturing any certain situation for me in the... in the last couple of, by any means. But, I definitely would tip the scales on the Angi side. But, that's just me.

Stew Redwine (40:15):
Gotcha. And what about the rest of you? Better Help or Angi? If we had a champion of this episode, would it be the Better Help spot or the Angi spot?

Paul Riismandel (40:22):
Um, Better Help. I mean, I think that it it was focused, it would resonate with a particular persona, it did everything that you could ask for in a s... in a single ad, I think. And- but, no brand should live or die on a single... on a single ad or even a single set of copy.

Adam McNeil (40:38):
I, too, would vote for Better Help, for the same reasons.

Arielle Nissenblatt (40:42):
Yeah, I'm with Amelia. It's definitely Angi for me. I just thought it was way more fun and as a consumer, maybe not from the brand perspective, but from the consumer perspective, I would be much more likely to go to over Better Help based on the excitement of the host.

Paul Riismandel (40:58):
All I wanna do now is to run a brand lift test on this. I wanna get 400 podcast listeners together, have them listen, and tell me what they think. I always wanna check my assumptions, again, so we can learn from a panel who are are not thinking about (laughs) it the way I am.

Stew Redwine (41:11):
Great point. Do it and we'll talk about the results. Thank you all. I think that another theme that I would take outta this is another quote from Aristotle, I have to say, from 2300 years ago, we'll- we'll just whip around. "For of speaker, subject, and person addressed, the hearer determines the speeches end and object." Audience first messaging, right? We talked about that a lot, right?

The energy level what messages resonated with us differently, depending on who we are in the audience, we have to always keep that in mind. And then, part of what I think makes Ad Infinitum special is that we don't always get to control that and all kinds of people are gonna be hearing the ad. So, those two things are simultaneously true. In general, what I see is, let's keep the audience in mind, keep the message single-minded, strip it down, keep it focused, and leverage the power of the theater of the mind.

Here, we see the top spenders in podcasters, the month of June for a grand total, 19 million dollars. And on average, from an AudioLytics standpoint, they're scoring a 73.8%. And then, from our group here, we got an average score of 6.73 out of 10. The point is there is room for improvement and this the top of the heap on the spend, right? So, there is so much opportunity in this space. There's so much opportunity to audio. That's why it's important for us to stop, listen to what the people that are spending the most that are doing in this space, and how we can improve the messages that we're putting out into the space, so. Thank you, Amelia, Adam, Arielle, and Paul for joining Ad Infinitum where we discuss audio advertising and break down audio ads.

Paul Riismandel (42:43):
Thanks, Stew.

Arielle Nissenblatt (42:44):
Thank you for having us.

Paul Riismandel (42:44):
[inaudible 00:42:44]

Amelia Coomber (42:44):
Thank you.

Stew Redwine (42:45):
All right. This week, we focused on AudioLytics Key Component Number Four: Demonstration. I'd say guys we demonstrated how it works when it comes to a powerful podcast panel, right?

Amelia Coomber (42:54):
We did it.

Stew Redwine (42:57):
All right. If you've got aspects of audio advertising you'd like to discuss, or suggestions for guests on the show, or wanna be a guest, please email That's C-R-E-A-T-I-V-E at Oxford Road dot com. And until our next show, remember to have fun making the ads work.

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