How Voice Control Technologies can be used in Advertising

We started our series of interesting AI projects with the article about the self driving model car Donkey Car. In this article we want to talk about opportunities AI already offers for the field of online advertising.

Nowadays more and more people are regularly using digital language assistants like Siri or Alexa. Some companies have already tried to use this voice control technology to create a whole new ad format: Voice controlled ads. We want to show you three interesting examples.


For the market launch of the Seat Torraco the automotive company created, together with Teads and PHD Germany, voice controlled ads for the first time in Germany. They appeared in an advertising environment of automotive and news websites. 

After allowing access to the microphone, the user could select between three different commercials (comfort, design, or technology) via voice control. Depending on his choice the user gets to see one of the three short video clips.

Seat Torraco Ads
Quelle: W&V


The fashion company C&A created, together with Carat Deutschland and SOD Screen on Demand, an ad where the user can ask for a new outfit via voice control. Once presented with a new one, the user had the opportunity to buy several pieces of the outfit.

C&A Ads
Quelle: W&V


The streaming service tested voice-enabled advertisement last year. Different from the previous two examples being visual, these are just audio ads within Spotify. Currently they are only available to some of Spotify’s free mobile listeners in the US. When the ad runs, the listener is encouraged to say a verbal command like “Play Now” which directs him to a certain playlist or a podcast.

One of the first voice-enabled ads being tested came from Spotify Studios. The voice ad directs users to the original Spotify podcast Stay Free: The Story of the Clash.

Click here to hear the voice ad

The presented campaigns are really creative but the most important question is: Does the consumer want to talk and interact with ads?

We couldn’t find any performance results for the presented campaigns, but the Online Magazine Adzine conducted a study together with market research company Appinio. In June 2019 they asked 502 people between the ages of 18 and 65 what they thought about voice controlled advertising. The opinion is divided: 47% tend to not like it, 53% do. 

The reasons against voice activated advertising mainly regard worries about data protection. We could also assume that it can be quite impractical to use voice control in public places. 

Voice activated ads are for sure an interesting new way to get consumers’ attention because they offer a new way of interaction. Especially the audio ads could help companies to reach their audience at a time when people are becoming more conscious about how much time they’re looking at their phone. But it could need some time until Voice Control is naturally included into more people’s lives. 


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