Voice on Voice #151 
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Voice-Enabled Ads Take the Next Step

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Interactive voice advertisements have caught the attention of major brands looking to tap into novel ad experiences. Attribution has long been a pain point for advertisers — but with interactive audio ads, brands know when a listener engages with their spots, providing valuable insight into the effectiveness of a campaign. A new generation of interactive ads is collapsing the time between ad exposure and purchase by incorporating voice commerce. By offering listeners the chance to purchase a product right when they hear an ad for it not only creates a frictionless shopping experience, but it also drives revenue for the company. NARS Cosmetics and Estée Lauder have already partnered with Send Me a Sample to send samples of their products to music streaming listeners. This week, Amazon Music launched a new interactive ad offering for Alexa devices that loops back to users’ Prime accounts. By combining attribution and purchases, interactive audio ads that focus on commerce unlock rich opportunities for brands.

Talk Attribution to Me

Amazon introduced its interactive audio ads offering for Amazon Music on Alexa-enabled devices. During an Amazon Music streaming session, the format plays an advertisement for a product and then provides a call-to-action — “Alexa, add to cart” — to encourage the listener to add the item to their Amazon cart. Brands who leverage these types of ads can access data related to if users interacted with the ad or if they added the item to their cart. Additionally, Amazon is beta testing interactive video ads through the iMDb TV service on Fire TV. While interactive audio ads aren’t new, Amazon’s new offering sets the stage for broader adoption of voice commerce by both brands and customers.
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The New Drive-Thru

McDonald’s and IBM are partnering to expand McDonald’s voice-ordering technology at the drive-thru with IBM’s acquisition of McD Tech Labs. In 2019, McD Tech Labs purchased voice tech startup Apprente, using its software to bring voice AI to McDonald’s locations. Since then, 10 Chicago restaurants have piloted voice AI. Through the McD Tech Labs sale, McDonald’s will be able to rapidly scale the voice technology with IBM’s resources. Fast food companies like Wendy’s, White Castle, Arby’s, and Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken have already deployed voice ordering, hinting at the future of a technology-driven customer and employee experience to drive satisfaction and efficiency.
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City Guide

The city of Dubai has launched a virtual voice and chat assistant that can answer questions from residents. To interact with the assistant, residents can go through WhatsApp, the city website, or Dubai’s Municipality app to ask questions about the city and its services. They can also report issues, submit requests, and more. As voice and conversational technologies become ubiquitous, many cities and governments, especially in emerging markets, are turning to these channels to connect with their residents and provide information — India’s government is currently building a voice and chat assistant for its mobile application for government services.
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By the Numbers


automotive assistants are expected to see regular use by 2026. (data via Juniper Research)


of British adults own or access a smart speaker. (data via GOV.UK)

Emerging Tech Stories 

  • The Full Range. Land Rover’s new 2022 Range Rover will be fully integrated with Alexa, allowing drivers to use the assistant to get news, control car features, and more.
  • Smart Banking. Wells Fargo is introducing a virtual assistant within its newly redesigned mobile app that is launching next year.

  • Inside the Metaverse. Facebook’s Presence Platform for Quest will help developers build virtual experiences with voice and hand interactions.
Making technology invisible, one conversation at a time.
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