Nuance launches mobile voice ads: Annoyance or gold mine?

Nuance launches mobile voice ads: Annoyance or gold mine?

Summary: If successful, Voice Ads will dramatically boost engagement. If annoying, Voice Ads will be the mobile equivalent of the pop-up ad on the desktop.

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Nuance on Monday launched Voice Ads, a voice enabled ad platform that allows a consumer to talk to brands. Companies get a new monetization vehicle and consumers presumably will get a say in brand advertising delivery.

nuancevoiceads

Mobile advertising could be huge, but few companies have cracked the display advertising code. The reality is consumers behave differently with mobile searches and behavior. More than a few mobile ad clicks are due to mistakes. Nevertheless, eMarketer pegs global mobile ad spending at $8.41 billion in 2012, up from $4 billion in 2011. By 2016, $37 billion will be spent on mobile advertising, according to eMarketer.

Nuance, which is using its voice technology in mobile, health and auto applications, is obviously hoping to get on the ad gravy train. Voice Ads promise to give marketers an avenue "to deepen the relationship with their consumers." The theory is that you'll chat with an ad or brand like you would Google's assistant or Apple's Siri. So far, Nuance has lined up a bevy of ad agencies for its voice ads, which line up with industry standard formats.

As for creating the voice ads, agencies need JavaScript and the software development kit from Nuance. 

The big question is whether these voice ads will be fun or annoying. Voice Ads will use location, mobility and voice to pop up and ask a consumer to speak to it. The conversation will drive the ad experience.

Nuance noted on its Web site:

Mobile devices are with us all the time, but there’s a specific time and place for rich media ad experiences. Nuance Voice Ads solve that problem by changing the dynamic of the ad itself. Instead of trying to push information onto a limited screen, advertisers are now free to let the user pull information onto the screen using their voice.

This is how decisions are made in real life, through dialogue.

Do I really want to have a dialogue with an ad?

If successful, Voice Ads will dramatically boost engagement. If annoying, Voice Ads will be the mobile equivalent of the pop-up ad on the desktop.

I'll reserve judgment until I see a few dozen of these mobile voice ads in action. However, my hunch is the deck may be stacked in the annoyance category.

Topics: Smartphones, CXO, Mobility

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14 comments
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  • Hmm...

    "Voice Ads promise to give marketers an avenue "to deepen the relationship with their consumers."" should read:

    Voice Ads promise to give marketers an avenue "to deepen the ability to annoy consumers who want to be left the hell alone."
    Hallowed are the Ori
  • Huge Mistake!

    Tell you what, if my phone starts broadcasting voice ads, I will use if for skeet practice and get a dumb phone instead. This is why I have a DVR, so I can fast forward through all the damned commercials.

    I hope you and I aren't alone on this, Hallowed are the Ori! If Nuance's business model is based on these ads, I hope they go out of business forever.
    Rick FromTexas
  • Must be a Texas Thing

    "Tell you what, if my phone starts broadcasting voice ads, I will use if for skeet practice "

    Because I too would terminate my smart phone with extreme prejudice using a firearm if it began randomly playing voice ads. What are these people thinking? Who wants to interact with an ad? Nobody. And the people running the ad networks know that. This is not to allow interaction and deeper involvement, its just to allow them to push ever deeper into places where they are not currently able to go.

    In the meantime, I'll make sure to keep my iPhone jail broken and have an adblocking hosts file installed.
    txscott
    • Re: terminate my smart phone with extreme prejudice using a firearm

      Because of course that will inflict pain and suffering on the originator of that ad, right?

      Is this how they reason in Texas?
      ldo17
    • the phone as target

      I'm not going to destroy my phone over this kind of thing, but I already keep the sound turned off on my computer because of idiots who think they can blast noisy music at me when I go to their website, never mind the grief I may endure if they wake up my wife who sleeps later than I do. I guess I would just have to keep the sound turned down on my phone too. This is a technology we DON'T need!
      rphunter42
  • Maybe Nuance should change their name...

    ...to "Nuisance".
    Userama
  • silence is key to the mobile experience.

    I'll tell you now, voice ads will cause me to lose whatever page faster than you can imagine. And I will refuse to engage with the site that publishes them.

    When I am on a mobile site with my phone I am typically in a public situation and think it is rude to make noises. Be it music, ads or the Grand Moff, it is not my place to assume that others close by will want to hear it.

    Kinda like a boombox on the bus, train, street corner, church or a boring business presentation. I consider the thought of wearing earbuds in public to be only slightly less annoying so I tend not to wear them.

    Right now I close any page that plays, without my active selection, a news story, advert, or just plain anything.

    I want to hear what I am listening to and hate interruptions I am not expecting.

    I often post rude complaints back to the offenders because it is rude of them to expect i want their sounds on their timetable. That is so broadcast tv it sickens me.
    steelhoof
    • silence is key to the mobile experience.

      I totally agree. Playing music, or talking, or starting a video without my specific request, will get a page on my 'do not return here' list very quickly, like in 2 seconds.
      rphunter42
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    Uber is rolling out sedan chair service in selected markets. You'll always ride a "Head Above the Crowd" in an Uber Chair:

    ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Im4uWu85Rac

    Qu’ils mangent de la brioche!
    Uber Chair
  • "Hi! Would you like to talk?"

    "Voice Ads will use location, mobility and voice to pop up and ask a consumer to speak to it."

    So, my phone's going to be asking to talk? I can hear it now ...

    "Hi, wanna talk?"
    "Hey, let's talk!"
    "Hello, is anyone there?"
    "Why won't you talk to me!?"
    "Stop ignoring me!!!"
    "FINE!!!"
    ... phone shuts down ...
    chuckharold
  • No way would I want such on my phone, If I want more, I'll make a call.

    I agree with all of the posters so far, except for the junk ones. I do not wnat ads talking. It was said something about location, I keep that turned off--I keep getting error messages in the browser about how it can't find me, good!
    In regular surfing on a PC, I find the sites that have autotmatic videos a nuisance and mute the advertisement, as I usually am listening to a radio broadcast through my speakers, not the computer anyway (at work; at home, most of the time, the speakers are turned off).
    What is a nuisance, too, is the popup blockers that block a site you have asked to go to. Why can't they fix that? It is not a popup, if I have clicked the link to go there!
    dhays
  • I hate popup ads. I will NOT talk to an ad.

    If I get one of these ads, unsolicited, that company will go on my permanent 'do not buy from this company' list. I don't buy things advertised from my phone, rarely from TV ads, and not on the internet, unless I go to the ad site, looking for a particular product. This is a technology I will not tolerate.
    rphunter42
  • Annoying!!!

    No question! If it gets "forced" upon me I will complain to service provider or change.... Do NOT need that kind of interruption in any part of my daily life.
    Willnott
  • April Fools?

    Please, please tell me this is an April Fools joke. I can only imagine the violent responses if it is true and the phone I bought suddenly starts shilling crap to me. I am seriously concerned about getting hit by a flying phone, thrown by a pissed off consumer or a ricochet bullet aimed at the offending phone.
    cdpitcock@...