ORLANDO, FL: Ford, the automaker, delivered success with a podcast advertising strategy that allowed it both to obtain significant reach and leverage the true power of storytelling.

Lisa Schoder, Ford’s Head/US Integrated Marketing & Media, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2018 Media Conference – including a tie-up with StartUp, a podcast from Gimlet Media.

“We actually worked with them to create storytelling ads, with their talent, that seemed completely native to the environment in which it lived,” she said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Ford has a newer idea: Podcasting.)

The logic behind this approach was to move beyond generic brand messaging that is often head during podcast content. “We wanted more than something that might sound like a host reading from a script,” Schoder said.

A series of ten contextual spots, each recounting story-relevant Ford messages, thus appeared as “native” elements in StartUp episodes.

Ford’s supporting ecosystem – particularly through distribution linked to Ford-owned platforms – would then ensure 200m credible audio impressions.

“This provided us with a platform to storytell – to really feature some of our employees, the work that they do every day, and how they are acting like entrepreneurs,” Schoder said.

“From a distribution point of view, the StartUp podcast has 4.1m downloads. So, we had that audience there to work with. But we knew that we wanted to get incremental scale out of this approach and take our story to a broader audience.”

To that end, Ford created an “owned” environment that would supplement the StartUp narratives and “tell the stories a bit more deeply by taking people from the podcast out into our ecosystem to continue to storytell.”

In fact, by stretching StartUp beyond the initial Gimlet engagement into its own marketing ecosystem, Ford did take a step up to more fully grasp both the creation and measurement of the podcasting.

As Schoder told the ANA Media Conference audience, “We were able to understand when any of that traffic went directly into our newer model tracking; we could understand what people did and where they went after the podcast.”

Sourced from WARC