Voice ads are finally coming!

Did you ever get asked to promote an Alexa skill or sponsor a Google home functionality? Well, nowadays we don’t really have a lot of options but to run an awareness campaign. Then users had to activate those skills by themselves on their own devices. Somewhat a clunky process, given that we are asking users to use different platforms and interfaces.

But things are about to change. Yesterday Snap announced the launch of new lenses that respond to voice commands. The company says it’s now rolling out a series of AR creatives that will animate when users speak simple, English words like “hi,” “love,” “yes,” “no,” and “wow,” as opposed to taking some other action – like opening their mouth or raising their eyebrows, as has been the trigger for some of the company’s prior lenses that animate with special effects.

For example, saying “hi” in the new lens will launch an animation that surrounds you with a flock of chatty birds; “love” will play cheesy jazz music; “yes” creates a zoom effect; “no” puts you in an infinite photo tunnel; and “wow” puts a bow on your head and surrounds you with the word.

While the company has offered lenses that involve audio before, this is the first time it has created lenses that actually recognize words, then use its understanding of what was said as a marker that kicks off the lens animation.

VIDEO (30” watch time)

What does it mean for us marketers?

We all know that Snapchat is going through a rough patch dealing with financial problems, but we’ve got to give it to them, they never lost their sense of humor and their willingness to try something new. And somehow they have been at the forefront of a lot of revolutionary products, too bad that other organizations have been able to fully adopt and monetize those functionalities. But when it comes to voice ad, they found an interesting application. Even though these are voice AI software, they made a visual user interaction, overlaying AR on top of AI. So, they found a way, through lenses, to use another interface of the phone to activate a visual creative feedback. For sure, other ad providers, such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter, will not just wait and watch but will jump into the voice ad market right away and will provide even more innovative applications of the technology. We marketers can just benefit from the healthy competition and leverage these new interfaces and channels in our communication campaigns.