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10 Brands That Got Audio Right in the First Half of 2021

Theresa Vallejo July 15, 2021
10 Brands That Got Audio Right in the First Half of 2021

With more than half of the US population fully vaccinated, and the fastest GDP growth rate in 40 years, as Jonathan Kratz of Ad Age suggests, “marketers should be optimistic about 2021” (Ad Age, April 2021). At Veritonic, we certainly are.

The increased focus on audio marketing continues to be palpable. It’s been established that audio advertising channels create authentic, targeted, and effective sources for brands to reach receptive audiences. For example, even throughout the last tumultuous year, podcasts have held their worth (podcast advertising revenue is on course to exceed $1B this year and $2B by 2023, IAB), which should provide great proof for any marketers who have yet to enter the channel. And when commuting fully returns, listening will only grow stronger. The shift to an audio-centric world doesn’t end there. Enter: social audio.

It was only a matter of time before platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter knew they had to get into the audio game. Even if it took completely new platforms like Clubhouse to inspire the final push, they may have actually made the move at the perfect time. 

Whatever channel you’re talking about, advertising is still the lynchpin and reason why these incredible resources and entertainment platforms can be available to us all. With that, we wanted to give you a view of who's really getting it right halfway through the year, starting with podcast advertisers. 

Salesforce is no stranger to our top 10 list, but they have ascended through the ranks to #1 from #8 in 2020. This ad stood out from the pack because of its strong recall score. Who wouldn’t remember that time a B2B SaaS platform tried to get you to mediate?

Second on our list is chiliPAD. This ad scored considerably well for emotional attributes, including familiarity, which is explained by its conversational tone between both podcast hosts. 

This TD Ameritrade ad is definitely not giving us TMI, but just enough to make us want to use its product in this charming and informative 30-second ad. They speak directly to their target audience and have one of the highest scores for sounding “powerful" as a result. 

Next, we move to the top 10 radio advertisers for the first half of 2021. Radio advertising is set to increase 10% over the course of 2021 (MediaPost), a considerable rebound after some pandemic setbacks.

Little Caesars has been a champion of sonic branding for some time and ranked well in our 2021 Audio Logo Index. Not only does their ad feature their sonic tag “Pizza Pizza” but also utilizes a bit of humor to set itself apart from the competition.

Unfortunately, as exemplified in the Little Caesars ad playable above, male voiceovers are still the overwhelming norm for audio advertisements. Veritonic data currently shows QSR as having the least female representation out of any the industries compared. All industries are far from broadcasting male and female voices equally, but some are gaining a bit of momentum from our overall average of 22% female voiceovers in 2020...but not by much. 

* The remaining percentages account for ads with both female and male voiceovers.

“Free” is often a deal too good to pass up. LinkedIn gives listeners confidence that the right talent pool for them is on LinkedIn in this spot, scoring high for intent and authenticity.

Another ad with a high intent score is Pennzoil. Although a bit hard to understand for a fuel novice (which is possibly intentional), the $20 gift card and unique positioning makes it no surprise that this spot would drive high intent for listeners to want to learn more.

Interested in hearing other brands’ ads from the top 10? Try our free Audio Ad search engine or contact us to go deeper on what’s working in your vertical with Veritonic Competitive Intelligence.

One of the most powerful tools for recall in ads can be the result of effective sonic branding. Our 2021 Audio Logo Index is a ranking and analysis of roughly 100 top sonic brands in-market this year. Check out the complete list here.  

Top Audio Logos

The data and rankings included in this post were collected from the Veritonic platform, specifically Veritonic Competitive Intelligence. The platform ingested analyzed about 12,000 radio and podcast ads that ran in 2021, which were then rolled up into and ranked by Veritonic Brand Score - a rating standard for audio creative which incorporates the overall emotional resonance, memorability (recall), purchase intent, and engagement of ads in a brand’s catalog. In the article above, sample ads ingested by the platform during 1H 2021 from some brand catalogs are featured.

To learn more about Competitive Intelligence and how it can help you develop a winning audio strategy, contact us at


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