NZME audio team creates live surf reports with advertiser

By Margaret Hawker

NZ Media and Entertainment

Auckland, New Zealand


When iconic beer brand Corona approached NZME with a brief to animate the Mexican-style lager’s summer-themed tagline, “From where you’d rather be,” Matt Tattle, group account director at publisher NZME, spotted an opportunity for targeted content.

Seizing on the idea of Corona Surf Reports, NZME’s campaign used dynamic creative optimisation to broadcast live reports, primarily on mobile, for the surf beach within 20 kilometres of the listener’s real-time location. Targeting beach goers aged 25-54 years listening on iHeartRadio, Corona Surf Reports broke new ground for individualised audio content targeted in real-time.

Corona Surf Reports allowed surfers to get audio weather reports in real time.
Corona Surf Reports allowed surfers to get audio weather reports in real time.

Tattle recently shared details of NZME’s pioneering combination of live analytics, content creation, and geo-targeting for radio:

Q: What was the thinking behind your campaign?

A: The big idea was to get the Corona brand as close to the beach as possible, reinforcing its “From where you’d rather be” messaging, also evident in Corona’s TVC and outdoor brand assets. But rather than simply reinforce Corona’s association with the beach, we wanted the brand to play an active role in taking targeted listeners to where they’d rather be: at the beach. We settled on the summer experience of surfing, with Corona Surf Reports positively interrupting listener journeys with live information, via mobile, pointing to “where you’d rather be.”

Q: This sounds complex. How did you pull the campaign together?

A: With our partner Adswizz, we built a platform that takes live weather and surf information from New Zealand’s top 20 surf beaches, matching that information with pre-recorded statements explaining current surf conditions. Research told us that surfers most cared-about location, wind speed and direction, and swell. So, our voice talent spent literally days in the studio voicing 16 wind directions, 30 wind speeds, and 39 swell heights, which are combined to create 6,400 different ad variables.

NZME's voice talent spent days in the studio creating more than 6,000 possible audio combinations for the project.
NZME's voice talent spent days in the studio creating more than 6,000 possible audio combinations for the project.

The smart piece is called dynamic creative optimisation, which assembles in real-time the correct pre-made audio elements to create a “live” surf report relevant to the listener’s location. Thanks to iHeartRadio listener account information, the ad knows where the listener is and responds by selecting the best creative combination to report the conditions at the closest beach.

Q: How did you measure the results?

A: The beauty of a digital campaign is that publishers can deliver a precise number of spots. In total, 751,000 ads were delivered over the three-month summer period, 95% of them via mobile. The message hit the mark with beachgoers, with a 99.6% listen-through rate confirming relevancy.

Critically, brand owner Lion also recorded a 2% uptick on Corona’s brand equity metric: “a brand that appeals to me,” which they attributed to the relevancy of an occasion-based point-in-time message.

Buoyed by the success, Lion has relaunched the campaign for the current ski and snowboard season — though Corona sales have outstripped supply, temporarily putting the campaign on ice.

Q: What did you learn from this campaign?

A: Audio is a powerful channel for advertisers, with increased listening on the move via headphones helping to reach big audiences as they travel. Brands have seen the potential and are including more digital audio in the campaign mix. Corona Surf Reports moves the needle on traditional targeting and audience engagement, using data in a way that delivers highly personalised audio content to connect advertisers with motivated audiences.

About Margaret Hawker

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