Spirits brand integration in a podcast generates growth in brand equity and purchase intent


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In 2017, the IAB and PwC found most podcasting ad revenues came from direct response marketers. Only 27% came from brand advertisers. Over the next five years, brand advertising in podcasts has grown twice as fast as direct response. As of 2020, brand marketer spend represents half of podcast ad revenues. Podcast brand awareness spend increased x4 from 2017 to 2020.

An annual Advertiser Perceptions study of 300 media agencies and marketers in the US commissioned by the CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One Audio Active Group reveals those who would definitely consider podcast advertising has jumped from 18% in 2015 to 49% in 2021. Marketers and agencies who say they “definitely would advertise” have increased x4 (10% in 2015 to 42% in 2021).

425+ Nielsen podcast brand effect studies reveal strong lift

Marketers want to know how podcast advertising impacts their brand awareness, the degree to which consumers seek information and recommendation, and purchase intent. Nielsen’s 425+ brand lift studies conducted across 19 different categories reveal podcast advertising generates substantial lift in brand equity.

Across 425+ studies conducted, Nielsen finds podcast advertising increases awareness by an average of +12 points and achieves +7 points of growth in seeking brand information. Brand recommendation and purchase intent each see average increases of +5 points.

Spirits brand integration in the Who Was Prince? podcast hosted by Touré

The CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One Audio Active Group commissioned Nielsen to conduct a study evaluating the effectiveness of a spirits brand’s sponsorship of the Cumulus Podcast Network’s show, Who Was Prince?, hosted by Touré (American writer, music journalist, cultural critic).

The campaign ran during the summer of 2021. The study was conducted via an online panel among 400 adults 21+ who were podcast listeners and alcoholic beverage drinkers.

Half of the respondents were exposed to the Who Was Prince? podcast clip with selected spirits brand advertising and half were exposed to the same podcast clip with no advertising. Respondents were then surveyed to measure lift across key brand measures.

Strong content appeal means podcast ads work so much better

Those rating the Who Was Prince? podcast as excellent/very good exceeded Nielsen’s norms. 75% of weekly alcohol drinkers rate the Prince podcast by Touré as excellent/very good compared to the 61% excellent/very good achieved by the average podcast.

Listeners were asked, “To what extent did you think the spirits brand was a good fit with the content of the podcast?” Two-thirds of listeners found the podcast to be a good fit for the spirits brand, right in line with the national norm for brand fit.

The campaign drove strong awareness lift for the spirits brand

There was a 50-point difference in brand recall between the exposed and unexposed groups. As is often the case, advertising for one brand often causes increases in the other brands in the category. All of the competitive brands saw modest lifts in brand recall among the exposed group.

There was a modest +8% increase in brand favourability (“love/like”) as advertising is a nudge, not a shove.

As a result of the Who Was Prince? podcast campaign, intention to take action grew strongly. There was a +19% increase in those who said they would seek information and a +13% increase in purchase intent. There was a +5% uptick in those saying they would recommend the spirits brand.

Case video summary