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April 2, 2021

iHeart Calms, ZipRecruiter Excites In April’s Top Audio Ads

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Stories and Sounds of the Outdoors
Still Move Listeners

Period ending April 30.

Which brands’ audio ads scored the highest based on their ability to drive listeners to buy the product being advertised? The above chart 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.

Indeed proved its staying power with the highest purchase intent score for the second month in a row, while ZipRecruiter also made the cut with the most “energetic” ad in the index. Two new entrants to the top 10, HomeSense and BB&T Bank (Truist), made a splash with a common (and topical) theme — the power of outdoors.

Audio ad wins for iHeart Radio and ZipRecruiter come from opposite ends of the tone spectrum. The iHeart spot, which scored 21 points above the benchmark for the podcast sector, is for a show related to the pandemic. Its blend of elements seems spot on; the message (“we can do this”) is extremely positive, while the voice relaying it strikes the right balance of urgency and calm. The execution also earned iHeart’s ad the highest score for relaxation (69), clearly something to strive for in these times.

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The power of ZipRecruiter’s ad, on the other hand, comes from a completely different feel. The fun spot features a man playing a “unicorn” — the perfect candidate for a job — and is fittingly accompanied by lively music and sound effects. While it scored just north of the benchmark for the recruiting sector, the ad actually had the highest overall score (Veritonic Audio Score of 85) and won this index for being the most energetic sounding as well (81).

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HomeSense and BB&T Bank, like several brands that have made this top 10 before, aim to connect to audiences with cultural relevance in their audio spots — with a focus on the outdoors — and succeed. HomeSense, a discount home furnishings store that started in Canada, really presses the point, with the female lead in the spot exclaiming “this is the year we love our backyard!” Unsurprisingly, the spot scored extremely high for being energetic (69).

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BB&T Bank’s approach is more subtle: it doesn’t mention outdoors directly, but the sounds of the outdoors, as well as puns like “plant the seeds for your goals” and “your account can blossom,” run throughout the spot.

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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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