The Internet of Voice

Authored by Vishal Rupani, CEO, mCanvas, India's first mobile advertising company.

With almost 20% of search queries being done by voice in India in 2019, and with a 270% year-on-year increase in voice searches, it’s no surprise that the use of speech and sound is slowly finding its footing in the Indian market, and brands are clamoring to find ways to engage users with it.

The fact that voice is faster than typing has contributed exponentially to its humongous growth. Capitalizing on India’s diversity in terms of language, marketers can build on mobile’s reach to localized markets, and create meaningful experiences for a wide range of audiences.

In the mobile ad industry, voice has gone beyond digital assistants like Alexa and Siri. Brands have used voice-enabled interactive mobile ads to enhance brand experiences for their audiences, that have created a lasting impression.

Here are 10 brands that have efficaciously used speech and sound recognition technology in mobile ads revamping the mobile experience.

Mercedes-Benz GLC | Voice Bot

Advanced automotive technology are words used synonymously with Mercedes-Benz cars, and the brand went one step ahead to promote its latest feature – the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX), a smart multimedia system and in-car voice-activated assistant.

The interactive mobile ad enabled users to ask creative questions to the MBUX. Using real-time speech recognition technology, the voice bot in the ad would respond with an appropriate answer, simply recreating the experience a user would have in the car.


State Bank of India | Speech

Amid the prevailing COVID – 19 pandemic, State Bank of India empowered users to access banking facilities at home, with their mobile app YONO - You Only Need One, an integrated digital banking platform.

With a voice-enabled mobile ad, the bank advocated for social distancing by encouraging users to walk into the world of SBI by saying “Enter”. Thereafter, the ad transitioned and showcased the features of the app and also prompted users to download it.


Amazon Echo Dot | Interactive Content

Amazon’s Echo Dot is one of the most popular devices to use voice, and the brand took on a unique route to make users aware of the product and its features.  

A great way to engage users, brands are gravitating towards sponsored content - branded articles that appear natively on the website, consistent with the surrounding content on a webpage. Through this interactive sponsored content article users were prompted to say “Alexa! Show me more”, to learn about the varied features of the Echo Dot; this was enabled using speech recognition technology. Users could also share the interactive article on social media.


Idea 4G - #IndiaKaLiveNetwork | Video Chat Bot

Intriguing users by enabling them talk to comedian Mallika Dua, Idea 4G etched a mark for itself by featuring an Artificial Intelligence (AI) – led, interactive video chat bot ad, to create awareness about the power of its network.

Using speech recognition technology, users were encouraged to ask Mallika questions about rightful behaviour. The actress would then respond accordingly, via a set of pre-recorded videos, which was seamlessly integrated using AI and Machine Learning.


Flipkart – Big Billion Days | Blow

The Indian e-commerce giant – Flipkart captivated users’ attention with an ad that promoted the Big Billion Days sale, while tying in the auspiciousness of the moon, with the theme ‘Deals Ka Chand’.

Using sound recognition technology, the creative prompted users to find the moon in a virtual reality (VR) and blow into the phone’s microphone to move the clouds away and reveal exciting offers from the sale. The experience was replicated on a microsite, which could also be shared on social media.


Canon EOS 200D II | Speech

Canon, one of the world’s largest camera manufacturing companies, intelligently used a voice-enabled ad to build an association with its ability to make everyday photography better.

Aligned with the campaign ‘Do Great With Canon’, users were prompted to say “Do great” to further learn how the brand’s camera could help improve the visual appeal of photographs, in a simple yet elegant manner. On the other hand, if the user said a different word, the ad would not proceed, and they were asked to ‘Try Again’, in order to proceed with the campaign.


Amazon Fashion | Speech

Stepping away from the otherwise basic route of showcasing its fashion collections, Amazon took it a notch higher, coupling speech and virtual reality (VR), creating a distinct experience for its users.  

Encouraging users to move their phone to explore the different clothing collections in virtual reality, the ad then prompted users to say “Winter Wear”, “Partner Wear” or “Casual Wear” to explore the different clothing ranges.


Lenovo – Thin & Light Wave| Blow

Stepping up to the challenge of building interest among users innovatively, Lenovo creatively engaged users, while educating them about its newest laptop, which is both thin and light.

The rich-media, mobile ad prompted users to blow into the phone’s microphone. Using sound recognition technology, on blowing, the laptop in the creative moved upward, which was suggestive of the lightness of the laptop, its USP.


Apollo Hospital – World Stroke Day | Speech

Apollo Hospital informed users about how to avoid strokes, and negate the risk of it with a voice-enabled, rich-media mobile ad. 

Adding an interactive spin, users were asked if they desired to learn how to avoid a stroke, and were prompted to say “Yes”. Thereafter, the campaign then displayed a variety of ways they could prevent a stroke like eating healthy, monitoring and reducing high blood pressure, among others.


Canara Robeco Mutual Fund | Speech

Brightening up the experience of learning about mutual funds, Canara Robeco Mutual Fund engaged users with an ad that enabled users to actively interact with the ad. 

Encouraging users to say “Know More”, the ad then showcased six different videos, highlighting different target market segments, suggesting that there’s a mutual fund for users at different levels, based on their needs. On saying an incorrect term, the ad would then encourage users to ‘Try Again’, in order to experience the complete campaign.

The Internet of Voice is the next best thing that’s going to take the advertising industry by storm. Incorporating advanced technologies like speech and sound recognition, brands have managed to successfully leverage the power of speech and sound, to create captivating experiences for users.


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