By Vixen Labs / December 14, 2022
We’ve created the Amazon Audio Ads Alexa skill as a live hands-on interactive experience to showcase the unique role of audio ads in reaching audiences across Alexa-enabled devices.
Two women engaged in a conversation about the Amazon Audio Ads skill developed by Vixen Labs. Logo says "Amazon Ads".

The Amazon Audio Ads skill is essentially a business tool. It has been created as an interactive experience in 1:1 or 1:many environments for the Amazon team to help potential buyers understand the benefits of the Amazon audio ads on Alexa-enabled devices. The skill features scenarios from seven different industries: Fashion, Hospitality, Consumer Packaged Goods, Finance, Hospitality, Entertainment and Automobile, and was first showcased at Cannes Lions 2022.

MAKING A SALES PITCH MORE ENGAGING

Audio ads work in ingenious ways to serve consumers. These 10-to-30-second ads play on Amazon Music’s free service, reaching audiences in their own homes while going through their daily routines. 

They are the perfect opportunity for brands to connect with their customers, especially due to their interactive nature. Most of these ads feature calls to action such as ‘Alexa, add to cart’ or ‘Alexa, send more info’, making it extra easy for customers to access what they need in the moment. Whether it’s ordering a new bottle of shampoo, or getting an email on the best credit cards out there, these ads are revolutionising customer convenience. 

Amazon wanted to highlight the true potential of these ads in their sales pitch and felt a standard presentation wouldn’t do them justice.

White Alexa device with "Amazon Ads" writing on screen.

LOOKING FOR THE REAL DEAL

At Vixen Labs, we decided that the best way to put these ads in the spotlight would be to show them in action across different industries. We wanted to keep it as real as possible.

In the discovery phase, we debated whether or not the scenarios should be interactive themselves. Following research, stakeholder interviews, and creative brainstorming, we opted for the perfect combination between informational, interactive and entertaining. The final version of the skill would focus on realistic scenarios of how audio ads worked across seven industries, while also answering the most common questions about these ads. 

On screen, we chose to display brand examples and signpost to different calls to action, which allowed us to showcase the essence of audio ads in real time.

Alongside marketing innovation, we looked at how to improve the audio experience in general. One of our priorities was to increase audio quality on Alexa. We also dove into wake word morphing to avoid triggering the skill every time ‘Alexa’ was mentioned in the scenarios.

“VIXEN LABS IS A TRUSTED LONG-TERM VOICE PARTNER. ON THIS PROJECT, THEY’VE SHOWN GREAT SKILL AND INNOVATIVE THINKING BY TAKING THE ESSENCE OF OUR PRODUCT AND DISTILLING IT INTO A FUN, EDUCATIONAL, AND INTERACTIVE SKILL.”

“We believe this is the future of advertising.” – Jennifer Vargas, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Amazon

White Alexa device showing the Audio Ads skill in action. Text on screen: "Financial Services – 'send more info' CTA"

AUDIO SOLUTIONS FOR AUDIO

More often than not, brands rely on written and video presentations for their sales pitch. But these lack a level of interactivity. An audio skill can pack the right amount of information, allowing people to navigate it at their own pace. It can also alternate pure functional knowledge with first-hand examples of how something works.

Using an audio skill to capitalise on the value of the Amazon audio ads seems like a no-brainer. An immersive sonic experience helps potential clients envision the benefit of these ads first-hand, which makes for a great business case. It also answers the most common questions about the product. 

Lastly, the skill is accompanied by a guide with instructions on how to use, direct invocations for each industry vertical and easy navigation prompts, so people can always go back for more information.

“WE HAD A LOT OF FUN WITH THE CREATIVE PROCESS REQUIRED BY THIS SKILL.” – HANNAH CARR, PROJECT MANAGER AT VIXEN LABS

White Alexa device showing the Audio Ads skill in action. Text on screen: Consumer Packaged Goods – 'add to cart' CTA.

RESULTS: AMAZON AUDIO ADS AT CANNES

    • The skill was launched at Cannes Lions 2022, where a high level of interactions per session indicated successful engagement.
    • Of all of the possible intents, ‘Next’ was used 44% of the time, indicating people have an appetite to explore audio ad examples from all seven industries.
    • The performance of the interaction model and flow was positive. In general, we found that the skill could easily recognise and respond to any questions and instructions from users.

    The skill will be used at many other conferences in the future and we hope such marketing avenues become more and more popular. Because the purpose of the skill is to make business cases interactive, it remains in beta and can only be used in conferences and 1:1 environments.

    Do you have a product to sell?

    Then why not try building a business case via voice? Sonic experiences can completely change B2B interactions, giving your sales pitch a more human, intuitive touch. Let’s talk!

     

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