Nuance Brings Madison Avenue Mobile Ads That Talk To You

4/1/13Follow @bromano

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and the changing relationship we have with our phones. Several websites celebrate the witty repartee of the personal assistant application in Apple iOS.

Meanwhile, advertisers are struggling to crack the code for effective mobile marketing—throwing $8.4 billion at the problem in 2012, according to eMarketer statistics cited by Nuance.

Balasubramanian says the 30-second TV spots that get shrunken for mobile screens don’t work anymore.

“The agencies are sitting there saying how can I justify spending this much money on mobile? I’m just not getting the engagement I need, and voice ads solves that for them, because you transcend the entire screen size,” he explains. “Now a user can literally ask any question they want, whether it’s about having witty chat bot dialogue, or trying to extract information on horsepower or miles-per-gallon from a car commercial—all of that can be done without any screen-size limitations.”

The Nuance voice recognition technology is easily adapted to this purpose, he says. It’s the proliferation of mobile devices—a billion potential voice ad users across supported platforms including iOS, Android, Windows Phone,  and Kindle—and powerful cloud computing that make it possible today.

Nuance and its partners believe getting consumers to participate in an actual conversation with brands—isn’t that what social media marketers are all trying for these days?—will be more powerful than other forms of digital advertising.

Voice ads also carry the promise of more accurate targeting. Gender, for example, can be determined from voice with extremely high accuracy, McSherry says.

They expect voice ads to command a small premium over current rich media advertising unit rates, he says.

Benjamin Romano is editor of Xconomy Seattle. Email him at bromano [at] xconomy.com. Follow @bromano

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