While many brands have pulled marketing activity, advertisers in categories such as grocery retail must continue to maintain share of voice; a new study shows that striking the right tone with the optimal medium can improve the effectiveness of that investment.

“Whilst [supermarkets are] getting more business than ever before, they’re still operating in one of the most competitive markets there is,” Damian Scragg, international general manager at audio analytics platform Veritonic, observed at the recent Mediatel Future of Audio digital conference.

“Now, more than ever, their messaging has to be right,” he said. Aggressive promotional messaging has been dialled down; in its place, advertisers are trying to provide useful information for consumers, as well as striking a more emotional tone of voice.

Veritonic analysed six audio ads by UK grocery retailers including Tesco, Iceland, Morrisons and Marks & Spencer. It conducted a survey of 300 UK consumers, and deployed its proprietary ‘Audio Intelligence Platform’, which uses machine learning to predict performance.

All six grocery retailer ads performed beyond Veritonic’s benchmark for the category. (For more details, including five key lessons to learn, read WARC’s report: Grocery retailers boost audio ad effectiveness during the COVID-19 lockdown.)

In the case of the Tesco ad, which topped the list, it gained a score of 59, according to the firm’s Audio Intelligence Platform – five points higher than the industry average, Scragg revealed.

“First and foremost, coronavirus-related ads are actually scoring much higher than we normally see for ads within this industry benchmark,” he said. “These ‘new’ ads, as we’re calling them, are also more emotionally resonant than the norm for supermarkets,” he added.

Veritonic’s research found the six ads to be deemed more ‘authentic’, ‘trustworthy’ and ‘reliable’ by listeners than the supermarket sector average; predictably, perhaps, they were also less ‘energetic’ than business-as-usual audio communications.

The increase can only be explained by greater audience receptivity to creative directly addressing the COVID-19 situation, Scragg asserted.

Sourced from WARC