IBM Launches Watson-Powered Conversational Audio Ads

What Happened
IBM is putting Watson’s cognitive power into a new audio ad product which allows consumers to ask questions and receive answers by voice. The company is leveraging Watson’s machine learning and natural language capabilities to provide accurate responses to consumers’ questions regarding the ad, which will prompt listeners to ask questions via text or voice. The ads will first appear across the digital properties of The Weather Company, which IBM acquired last October, and brands testing this novel ad product include Unilever, Campbell Soup, and GSK Consumer Healthcare.

What Brands Need To Do
Conversational interfaces have been on the rise, led by Amazon’s sleeper hit Echo and virtual assistant Alexa. As Mary Meeker pointed out in her 2016 Internet Trends Report, voice-based interfaces are ramping quickly and creating a new paradigm for human-computer interaction thanks to its efficiency and convenience compared to typing. With consumers increasingly familiar with this type of interface, it is only natural that brand advertisers should follow suit. This IBM ad product provides a good way for brands to test voice-activated interactions and gain consumer insights.

For more information on how brands can take advantage of the rise of conversational interfaces, please check out the Conversational Interfaces section in our Outlook 2016.


Sources: AdWeek