A Successful Smart Speaker Pre-Roll Campaign, Explained


In what Cumulus Media national radio arm Westwood One is calling a “historic first,” a job recruitment website saw a boost in ad recall and brand awareness through its use of smart speaker pre-roll advertising.

The online job search hub received “branded audio entitlement” and was featured prominently in smart speaker tune-in promos and at the launch of radio station content. When listeners asked their smart speakers to play one of Cumulus Media’s 424 radio stations, a 15-second pre-roll message for the job recruitment site would play before the radio station programming would commence.

How did Westwood One measure the results?

Two studies were conducted — one in April 2020 by global online research firm Dynata, and another in September 2019 by Survata, a brand intelligence research company. When consumers heard the job recruitment ad delivered by the smart speaker, Dynata and Survata were sent the consumer’s IP address. Those who were exposed were administered the study and compared to a control group of respondents who did not hear the creative but matched in age, gender, technology, and region.

“The findings proved how effective the smart speaker pre-roll ads were at increasing awareness for the job recruitment website,” Westwood One concludes.

Commenting on the results, Westwood One President and Cumulus EVP/Corporate Marketing Suzanne Grimes said, “Consumers are most attentive just after they ask a question or make a request. It’s no surprise the ad recall of the smart speaker pre-roll ad unit is so strong; there is significant engagement with the message that occurs right after a listener asks for a radio station to play on a smart speaker.”

Highlights from the analysis include:

Smart speaker pre-roll ads stand out. Dynata reported the April 2020 smart speaker pre-roll campaign generated a +46.9 point increase in ad awareness. Survata’s September 2019 study revealed the smart speaker pre-roll campaign achieved a +38% lift in aided ad recall lift compared to those unexposed.

Awareness grew for the job recruitment website. Dynata found the smart speaker pre-roll campaign grew unaided brand awareness (+19.5) and aided brand awareness (+6.6).

Increased campaign exposure lifts recall. There is a relationship between frequency of message exposure and advertising association for the job recruitment website. 8% of those exposed 1-2 times to the campaign could name the job recruitment website on an aided basis. Among those exposed to the campaign 5+ times, 13% could name the job recruitment website on an aided basis, a +63% greater ad recall than those exposed 1-2 times.

Ad recall skews younger. Those who recalled the job recruitment website were more likely to be Millennial and men.

The Survata platform plans, measures, and optimizes brand campaigns to make brand marketing more impactful. Dynata is a first-party data and insights platform.