Burlington-based Nuance Communications has found a way to bring mobile advertising into the age of Siri.
Nuance yesterday unveiled Voice Ads, a mobile advertising format that lets people have a two-way conversation with brands.
"You can always create bad ads with it, but we expect it's going to be some of the leading agencies that do really compelling ads that are going to take this on," said Peter Mahoney, Nuance's chief marketing officer.
Mobile advertising company Jumptap's CEO, George Bell, offers the example of asking Siri to show him flights to Palm Beach.
While the results are being fetched, a voice says, "Are you likely to need a rental car for that trip?"
"You want to put an ad in front of the customer that's relevant to their needs," Bell said.
If you ask a question the voice is unable to answer, Mahoney said, it may ask you to clarify or offer a witty response.
And the consumer always has the option of ignoring the ad so that it goes away, he said.
"Whether we like it or not, voice is creeping into or expanding its reach," Bell said. "Anything that can break Google's stranglehold on search will be beneficial to lots of different companies.
Any brand that has built an identity on voice -- as Priceline has with actor William Shatner, for example -- will particularly benefit from Voice Ads, which is expected to hit the market this summer, Bell said.
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