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April 1, 2021

Capital One, Farmers Brand Personalities Propel Audio Ads

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Famous voices and cultural relevance resonate with listeners


Which brands’ audio ads scored the highest based on their ability to drive listeners to buy the product being advertised? The below measures the top spots by purchase intent score, calculated by the Veritonic Machine Listening and Learning (M-LAL ™) platform, and where each stands relative to its sector benchmark.

February’s top 10 audio ads saw some new entrants, including Peacock, the sole entertainment brand on the list, and a range of finance brands — Capital One, Discover, and Bank of America.

Farmers Insurance was the big winner with a typically-humorous spot driven by their now unmistakable brand voice, J K Simmons, as well as the consistent use of their mnemonic at the end of the ad (which ranked third in the 2020 Audio Logo Index). With a purchase intent score 24 points above the benchmark for Insurance (property and casualty), the power of that voice is equally unmistakable.

The finding is consistent with a broader, recent study on the sector. Data demonstrated how insurance brands that leverage a unique personality in their audio ads are considerably more recognizable to consumers than “standard” voiceover actors — in Farmers’ case, by nearly 30 percentage points.

Farmers Insurance, 2021

Capital One, which scored nine points above the benchmark for finance ads, leverages a similar strategy featuring actor Jennifer Garner across its campaigns. Interestingly, unlike the Farmers spot, this one identifies the personality (Garner) by name (it doesn’t in TV-versions of the ad). The difference suggests how different strategies call for some fine tuning of tactics. In this case, since multiple personalities speak for the Capital One brand in ads (Taylor Swift is another), listeners may need a little reminder of who is speaking. Each strategy — singular voice of the brand or rotation of big celebrities — is clearly powerful in its own way.

The return of to this month’s top audio ads — one of the few repeat winners — supports a trend we saw in January: messages about making pandemic life easier matter to people. The spot’s completely unadorned delivery — simply a male voiceover — likely has a lot to do with its extremely high score (80) for uniqueness., 2021

Similarly, Bank of America’s high-scoring spot speaks to the times, focusing on what has become a hallmark of safe socializing — the outdoor deck. This ad, however, is sonically-enhanced — chirping birds, power-washing and more give it levity and the suggestion of fun to come. That tone made it the most powerful ad (scoring a 79) in the top 10 in addition to helping it beat the benchmark for purchase intent by 19 points.

Bank of America, 2021

Curious about where your own audio marketing efforts stand? Contact us to get a look.


Veritonic Competitive Intelligence empowers brands to understand how their audio marketing stacks up against competitors. It detects and scores audio advertisements across major verticals by analyzing an ongoing flow of thousands of podcast, radio, and other streams. Powered by Machine Listening and Learning (M-LAL™), the platform gauges the effectiveness of assets by correlating each with thousands like it that have been analyzed across the Veritonic database.

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