Partnership between RMS and A Million Ads announced

Hamburg, 25th April 2017

RMS partners with A Million Ads to deliver personalised audio advertising. The audio sales house RMS and UK start-up A Million Ads are bringing Dynamic Creative to the German audio market.

 
 

RMS, the leading German audio sales house, and A Million Ads, a global leader in data­-driven audio marketing, announced their cooperation on the German market today. A Million Ads specialises in the delivery of dynamic content and personalised adverts for online audio. It is the UK company's first partnership in Germany. This shows the continuing growth of Programmatic Audio. 


Thanks to the partnership, RMS now has access to the technology and creative approach developed by A Million Ads for the marketing of its online audio portfolio and can link them with its own adserver. Based on the known user information, advertisers can mix dynamically generated elements within a campaign, and thereby create personalised audio spots with a vast amount of possible combinations. The data which A Million Ads can access from the outset includes the location, time, weather and user device as well as the sequence of hearing the ad. In the next stage, first party data will become available, e.g. from login or usage. 


Frank Bacher, Head of Digital Media at RMS: "We are delighted to have gained A Million Ads, an experienced expert in personalised, data-powered online audio advertising, as a partner. This will give advertisers the chance, for the first time, to adjust and place advertising spots in real time for individual target groups. Thanks to this precise transmission, we can gain maximum attention in relevant situations. That is a real ground-breaking innovation for the audio advertising market. Dynamic Creatives emphasises the high quality of the online audio format. Together with A Million Ads and the campaigns of the first selected advertising partners, we will drive forward new developments in the German audio market."


Steve Dunlop, Founder and CEO at A Million Ads: "RMS are the obvious partner for us in the German market. Their scale and capability offers advertisers the chance to reach millions of consumers. Now, with A Million Ads, those moments can be personalised to each individual listener, capturing more attention and driving ROI for advertisers."


At the moment, the preparations for the first test campaigns are ongoing in cooperation with a large agency network. 

About A Million Ads
A Million Ads delivers personalised audio creative on-the-fly and at scale. driving higher brand engagement and greater media effectiveness. We make this possible by combining cutting-edge technology with innovation in the creative process to deliver relevant and personalised digital audio ads in real time. 
Contact: press(at)amillionads.com


About RMS
As the leading audio sales house in the German audio marketing market, RMS helps its clients to get closer to their target groups and their purchasing decisions, both in terms of location, time and topic. To do this, RMS offers services from the whole audio spectrum; advert times and formats as well as online offers from 165 private radio stations nationwide. On top of that, they are also leading the market in web radio and mobile apps. The marketing offer is supplemented by further services for market research, media planning and creation. In 2016, the revenue of the RMS partner stations was 1,270 billion Euros, according to Nielsen Media Research. The Chairman of the Board is Florian Ruckert. RMS has offices in all large German agency cities. The company's headquarters are in Hamburg Together with RMS Austria, RMS is the biggest audio sales house in Europe.

Contact: Kirsten Schade, Company Communication Press spokesperson, RMS Radio Marketing Service GmbH & Co KG
T. +49 (0) 40. 23890-153 M. 0175 8346079 E. schade@rms.de

SXSW: Highlights From The Influential Austin Experience 

Steve and I are off to Austin, Texas, USA for South by South West's annual Film, Music and Interactivity festival that should be in every media influencer's diary. We’re newbies to the whole SXSW experience but along with the Cannes Lions it is a key opportunity to showcase A Million Ads to the media industry and I’m speaking as part of the Brands and Marketing track of the Interactive festival. As we have some coffee fuelled travel time, here are a few thoughts on what makes SXSW such an influential event.

I bought an early generation iPod in 2002, or rather Capital Radio Plc my employer at the time did. Before then I had put sonic presentations together on tape, DAT, CD and/or minidisc. We had thousands of audio clips, radio ads and soundtracks from TV ads in an archive grandly called 'The Sonic Laboratory'. The iPod, cleverly pitched as ‘a thousand songs in your pocket’, offered a perfect solution to the fact that in those days we played individual clips from a playlist which had different orders for different clients. So now there was no need to re-record, burn or reorder on these different formats. The iPod, or rather the iPod + iTunes, was every sonic presentation I could ever want to give in my pocket. The problem was, after about a year of use the battery died, and it couldn't be replaced for less than the cost of a NEW iPod! That’s pretty annoying even if you didn’t stump up the substantial cost in the first place. This issue really irked the filmmaker Casey Neistat. In fact, it annoyed him so much that he decided to make a public service film called iPod’s Dirty Secret about his direct action on iPod’s iconic poster campaign. It became the first viral online video I can remember. It might not seem significant now but this was 2003, YouTube didn’t launch until 2005, to watch the short film you needed to patiently download it! I kept a close eye on Casey’s career ever since and he went from having his own HBO show with his brother, to producing commercials, to becoming one of the biggest YouTube stars out there, to launching a Tech Media company which he recently sold to CNN. Casey is discussing his fascinating journey at SXSW 2017, and this is his most recent film about what it means to be a creator.

 
 

Casey has claimed that is was his young son that introduced him to YouTube because he wasn’t that impressed his dad had an HBO series as he and his friends didn’t watch TV. It’s hardly ground breaking to highlight the impact the internet has had on video content but it feels online audio content is now being talked about in a similar way in it’s evolution. Video and audio are very different and consumed in different ways but people’s attraction to on demand, personalised content will only continue to accelerate.

My presentation content has evolved over the years, some of the core examples have survived from the playlists of that first iPod while others have been added, developed or are the result of research. Around the time that iPod battery was dying, I was involved in commissioning research into Musical Fit and the Recall of Radio Ads with Professor Adrian North who at the time was at Leicester University’s, Centre for Psychology. We had been draw to his fascinating work into music and consumer behaviour, through his study into the effect music has on wine purchasing preference (a study we mention in the animation on our home page). To understand how marketing and advertising works, it’s logical to look at how human communication works and the work of psychologists around the world. Advertising is about influence so it was no wonder the work of Dr Robert Cialdini would come up, because he quite literally wrote the book on the Psychology of Influence. I've found his theory on the 6 weapons of influence a great way to showcase influential sonic creative and was fortunate to get a pre-release copy of his recent new book, Pre-suasion, from his publishers. Robert is discussing this new book with Guy Kawasaki at SXSW and he also quotes Adrian’s wine study in the opening chapter.

 
 

Although we applied to speak at SXSW well before we had agreed to work with Pandora, it’s now a happy coincidence we can be here with them as they are one of the festival's major sponsors. With them sitting perfectly between two of the three main strands, interactive and music, they have a big presence all over Austin. If you happen to be at SXSW our session is called Subconsciously Seduced by Sound, 11.00 – 12.00, Salon E, JW Marriott. Where we will be presenting our theory on how and why our subconscious has such an impact on the information we’re influenced by and how brands can use dynamic creative and personalisation to take advantage.

 

SXSW: Subconsciously Seduced by Sound

Sam Crowther

MAR 15, 2017 | 11:00AM – 12:00PM, JW Marriott, Salon E

The digital age is responsible for a dramatic decline in the human attention span. However brand advertising has a powerful secret weapon, sound. Or more specifically, communicating to people’s subconscious with sound. From utilising the passive nature of hearing to psychologically condition people to using selective attention to make people actively listen, relevant sounds have an extraordinary effect on influencing emotional memory, behaviour and brand selection. Join this experiential session to learn how this legacy of our evolution is being used in dynamic creative and personalisation for digital audio, helping brands communicate the way humans do instinctively.

Pandora Partners with A Million Ads to Become First Publisher to Deliver Dynamic Creative Audio Advertising

23 February 2017

Imagine a world where the advertisements you hear speak to you like a trusted friend. They get you. Your likes. Your perspective. And understand how to add value to your everyday life.

We’ve worked hard to make this level of personalisation a reality for your music listening experience on Pandora. We already know how important it is to deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right moment–so we are beyond thrilled to announce that we are entering an exclusive partnership with UK-based company, A Million Ads, to enable our advertising partners to do this at even greater scale and efficiency.  

Together Pandora and A Million Ads are working to establish a new standard for data-driven creative in audio advertising. Not only will this partnership allow brands to further personalise their creative on Pandora, but they will also be able to look at performance across many more variants.

By applying dynamic creative technology to the world of audio, select Pandora advertisers will soon be able to test these enhanced features (that we plan to make widely available later this year):

  • Dynamic Creative at Scale: Serve real-time, tailored audio ads to Pandora listeners through a single tag. In addition to gender, age and zip, these ads also take into account variables like location, time of day and weather–letting advertisers create up to thousands of versions of an ad easily and efficiently. Combined with Pandora’s registration data, this puts the true power of personalisation to work for your brand message.
  • Sequential Messaging: Tell a complete brand story with sequentially targeted audio ads. We’ve already seen how campaigns that prioritise storytelling over asking the consumer to make a purchase achieve more effective results.1 Now, we take that to the next level through an unstoppable combination of audio storytelling and sophisticated targeting technology.

Dynamic Creative Expected to Lead to More Effective Brand Messaging

Can you imagine the possibilities of serving hyper-personalised, real-time audio ads to an audience who is already engaged and immersed in a personalised music listening experience? The end result is a brand message that actually connects with the listeners. Instead of serving the same coffee shop ad across regions and demographics, Pandora advertisers can easily tailor their creative to achieve more relevance to the listener. For example, listeners in Oakland, CA might hear something like this:

We’re also excited to be enabling musical personalisation, where advertisers can leverage a variety of different music beds and sounds to match a listener’s current listening experience.

Key Performance Indicators Expected to Get a Boost

We’ve seen time and again that contextually relevant ads generate more resonance with their intended audience, leading to better performance in terms of engagement and recall. Through this partnership, we also expect to see key performance indicators get a boost, including the hard-to-move metrics of Brand Favorability and Purchase Intent.

“We share Pandora’s vision and value for personalisation within the unique and intimate audio environment,” said Steve Dunlop, founder and CEO of A Million Ads, “and I’m delighted to partner with Pandora to bring this to market at scale. Dynamic creative represents a significant step in innovation for digital audio advertising and we look forward to building on this partnership as we grow.”

Pandora advertisers can expect dynamic creative functionality to be widely available later this year. To learn more about our partnership with A Million Ads,

Sources:

1. The Science of Social Advertising, “A Research Study on Sequenced for Call to Action vs. Sustained Call to Action,” May 2014

Dreams and Strange Sonic Fruits

Dreams and Strange Sonic Fruits
“If facts don’t work, sing to them”
— Advertising Adage

In the post 1985, The Year I Started Listening we explored the two core aspects of sonic communication. The passive process of hearing and the active process of listening. In the post Why It’s Good To Talk, Trust, Think And Feel we explored the role of spoken language in sonic communication and particularly why - It’s not what you say, it’s the way you say it - is considered a universal truth. I began that with the inspiration of Martin Luther King’s I have a dream speech which has influenced people ever since and was studied by Barack Obama before the creation of his Yes we can anthem. Why do certain speeches and phrases resonate so much? Simplistically it’s the emotion behind the words, but linguistically it’s how that emotion manifests itself through the way we change volume, pitch, intonation and rhythm. The more emotional we say something, the more musical it sounds. It is this link between voice and music we’re going to explore, voice is music and music is voice.

From 1982 until 1987 every Monday to Friday school term evening I sang evensong in Tewkesbury Abbey. We would also rehearse for an hour in the morning. Music played a big part in my life and education. There are three musical elements to an evensong, the Psalms, the Magnificat / Nunc Dimittis, and the Anthem. The Psalms were tedious, they were chants sung back and forth between Decani and Cantoris, the two sides of the choir. They were often long, boring and hypnotic to sing as a young boy, but relaxing to listen to now. The Magnificat / Nunc Dimittis are canticles and were more interesting to sing, basically they were the same lyrics each night but to different melodies. The part we always enjoyed singing was the Anthem, these would sometimes include such classics as Zadok the Priest... No... Think Champions League, and would also mark the end of the service, Hallelujah! That’s how we felt as young choristers and I suspect the release of endorphins was the intention for congregations over the many centuries.

 
While technology creates opportunities, it’s creativity that creates value
— Sir John Hegarty
 

Sound is difficult to ignore, it’s immersive, affects us regardless of where attention is focused and is able to manipulate a group of peoples’ collective emotions. The church, being perhaps the oldest organised communication experts out there, understood life was hard beyond their gilded walls, so designed services to stimulate the senses to generate emotional elation, from the mundane to joy, from the drudgery of daily life to beauty and splendour, from chants to champions league, from godlessness to godliness.

We instinctively and subconsciously add musical elements to our voices because we’ve implicitly learnt the tiny changes in volume, pitch, intonation and rhythm that enable us to understand the emotional state of the person in front of us, and convey our emotional state to them. However, I hadn’t heard a demonstration of quite how musical we sound when we speak, until I heard ‘sometimes behave so strangely’, the Speech to Song Illusion from the perceptual and cognitive psychologist, Diana Deutsch. I first came across it in this excellent Radio Lab Podcast.

The importance of sound in communicating emotions is perhaps why music and storytelling are so fundamental to human culture. Speech and song are so intrinsically linked because what is story telling if it isn’t adding emotional context to a set of actions and outcomes, more emotion, more musical it sounds. The greatest storytellers from Shakespeare to the Beatles have focused on the pillars of human emotion - love, power, fate, revenge, society, dreams. Legendary adman, Sir John Hegarty was recently quoted as stating, ‘While technology creates opportunities, it’s creativity that creates value’, and creativity in advertising is all about emotional storytelling. Interestingly this idea has been elegantly demonstrated in Google’s Oscar nominated virtual reality short film ‘Pearl’, a story that uses music as it’s central theme.

 
 

So when you have something to say, think about the way you say it, think about the emotion you want to convey and the way it comes across musically and if that fails to make an impression, sing. Some phrases just stick and you can’t read them without hearing the specifics of volume, pitch, intonation and rhythm in the way they they were originally delivered, from ‘I have a dream’ to ‘you talking to me?’ or ‘show me the money!’ or even, ‘I’m luv’in It’. The American Film Institute’s 100 years, one hundred movies quotes has ‘Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn’ from Gone with the Wind in the number one spot, a film with a link to perhaps the greatest example of music storytelling of all time and significantly predates Dr King’s speech. I’ll let a far more accomplished writer than me explain the story of Billie Holiday's Strange Fruit, I recommend you listen to the song while you read. A brilliant example of cognitive dissonance through music’s ability to subconsciously seduce while simultaneously, consciously shock and persuade.