Rules of Engagement #5: Crank up the volume

October 2018

In today’s attention economy, views are no longer enough. To drive valuable engagement, brands must capture attention – and transform that attention into action. In this series, we explore how to meaningfully connect with audiences to generate results that matter

In an always-on world, attention is an increasingly valuable commodity. And when consumers are used to subtitled content on social media and auto-muted video, creating an engaging campaign can be difficult.

Audio is, after all, a key part of creating a brand experience – whether it comes via a powerful score, a catchy jingle or a recognisable voiceover – and although it’s possible to succeed without it, it’s far from ideal. This is borne out by the data: users who see and hear ads experience higher Brand Awareness, Ad Recall and Consideration than those who only see or only hear ads.1

Music, in particular, can draw attention, stir emotion, and connect with audiences that might be unreachable across a language barrier. Audio can act as a sonic trigger – or ‘mnemonic’, to use the technical term – keeping a key phrase or message in viewers’ minds for months or years after seeing an ad. And with a surprising choice of music, or an unusual pairing of audio and visuals, an ad can create a cultural moment in its own right (think the Cadbury’s gorilla belting out the drums to Phil Collins).

YouTube viewers are primed for audio – because they’ve arrived wanting to watch video, they’re more likely to be listening. They’re also more likely to be watching. In fact, 95% of YouTube ads are audible,2 and the same number are viewable,3 compared to just 66% across the rest of the web and apps.4

This translates into far greater levels of attention and engagement: according to a study by GfK, 83% of YouTube viewers describe themselves as ‘fully/mostly’ paying attention compared with 58% across other social platforms.5 So if you’re creating an audio-visual experience that demands attention, YouTube is the best platform to ensure consumers see it the way it was made to be seen.


See how Superdry kitted out a generation of music fans here

Rules of Engagement #1: Be smart with targeting