Voice Ads Coming to Your Mobile Devices

A company called Nuance Mobile is adding a whole new dimension to the mobile advertising market.  Its new “Nuance Voice” service allows users to converse with the advertisements on their mobile devices.  Michael Thompson, EVP and GM of Nuance, hopes that engaging with consumers on this level will help the advertiser to interact with them in a more meaningful way.

A Nuance voice-enabled ad prompts the reader to ask a question and responds accordingly.  It capitalizes on the advanced state of mobile technology to integrate natural language processing (NLP) into the ad experience.  NLP is used in a variety of applications, including Apple’s Siri app.  The idea behind using it in ads is that it will act like a friend or personal assistant, giving the reader input on queried topics.

“Voice has already changed the mobile interface, making it faster and easier for consumers to discover and access information, and find people and content,” Thompson said.

He continues, “Mobile advertising shouldn’t be any different, and should be designed specifically around the unique capabilities of the mobile device.”

Mobile phone capabilities have drastically improved in recent years, in part due to the development of the all-in-one mobile processor, which enables faster computing and enhanced multitasking.  Smartphones that operate on a Qualcomm Snapdragon, for example, can juggle games, videos, NLP technology, and many other tasks simultaneously without lagging.

While there are no campaigns running Nuance Voice ads yet, the company created a fictional deodorant ad to showcase the technology.  The sample ad features a Magic 8 ball that tells the reader to flip a coin, asks how it landed, then provides an answer to the initial question, “should I buy that ring?”

The advertising world will likely have a blast integrating this into mobile ad campaigns, but it remains to be seen how effective or popular the service will be with consumers. Mobile ad spending is a ripe market, doubling last year to a record high of $8.4 billion, and it’s expected to continue growing.  Any service that makes an ad stand out may have a leg up with advertisers, even if consumers will ultimately determine its success.

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