a man wth headphones on facing away from camera and looking out at a view of a lush green forest with low handing clouds. Inspiration

3D Binaural Audio Ads Making Waves in Digital Audio Advertising

Digital audio advertising has blossomed over the past few years with enhanced audience targeting capabilities. 3D ads are becoming easier to find, but can still be considered an underutilized marketing tool going into 2022—that’s good news for you if you’re a marketing manager or creative agency project manager looking for creative solutions to present to your teams and clients! 

What is 3D Binaural Audio?

Binaural audio mimics how humans naturally hear, with intricacy and precision offering an insight into the distance and position of a sound relative to the audience. In short, it provides an audio-based virtual reality experience.

Elements of binaural audio create full landscapes of sound that listeners absorb to give a sense of a location or movement—ultimately producing an immersive advertisement experience that mimics how people experience daily life. 

Binaural audio recordings require special recording equipment that simulates how sound envelops a person’s head as it is heard. Binaural recordings lead your brain to believe the sounds emitted from your headphones are real and surrounding you. Usually, binaural recordings are live and use authentic sounds. You can find phenomenal examples of 3D sound design in the RØDE Ambisonic Library. We showcased it in this piece on sound effect websites.

Ultimately, the mission of 3D audio is to provide an unforgettable user experience that  transports the listener into an imaginary creative space through sound. With many people listening to music streaming services, utilizing binaural sounds for advertising campaigns is an excellent use of resources when creating an unforgettable experience for your audience. 

Using 3D Binaural Ads as a Marketing Tactic 

Indeed, 3D audio might be the advantage you are searching for in your business’ advertising campaign. Since the invention of television, radio has taken a proverbial backseat; however, with 3D audio, the radio-style streaming commercials are experiencing a resurgence in prevalence and effectiveness.

Millennials and Gen-Zers like to absorb their information “on the go” by listening to podcasts or streaming audio news briefings using headphones. Headphones enhance biannual sounds for the listener, so developing campaigns using 3D sounds can transform advertising.

How the Popchips Campaign Used 3D Ads

Popchips operates its “pop of positivity” campaign using binaural audio to promote its snack brand. The audio advertisements play the sound of crunching Popchips, imitating what it might sound like to bite into the tasty snack for the listener. Click on the image below to listen to the ad. Note, binaural ads sound the best through headphones, in your car, or on your home theatre system—audio environments designed with listening in mind.

The campaign utilized podcast air time and played during Romesh Ranganathan’s Hip Hop Saved my Life and Katherine Ryan’s Telling Everybody Everything, which targeted the best audiences for their product.

13 Days of Halloween Podcast Led 3D Audio Rollout

iHeartMedia, alongside producer Aaron Mahnke, pioneered 3D audio in the 13 Days of Halloween podcast. With nearly three million downloads, the doors burst open to a world where fictitious and storytelling podcasts could regularly use binaural sounds to enhance the listener experience. Give the 13 Days of Halloween a listen below, again headphones or in the car, or somewhere you can listen critically. This podcast is a real treat and delves you into the world of 3D audio in a truly immersive way.

If producers are seeing the benefits of using binaural sound to tell a story, then businesses must be mere steps from leaping into the world of 3D sound to promote products and services.  

Volkswagen Campaign

Like the Popchips campaign, Volkswagen is also working to enhance the listener experiences during advertisements. 

Specifically, Volkswagen offered a product demonstration of a lane assist feature that sounds as if the listener were driving a car. The advertisement targets young adults on the go—the same population listening to a podcast and seeking out streaming services for news intake. 

Volkswagen used 3D audio to replicate lane assist by warning drivers if the car veers left or right from the center position. The binaural audio played the left lane alert in the left ear, whereas the right lane alert was played in the right ear. 

You can hear Voltswagen’s ad for yourself here.

Using 3D Binaural Audio Ads for Your Company

While binaural sound is how people usually hear, it is not how people listen to music with headphones. When headphones sit inside the ears, the sound is placed in the middle of your head—formatting audio to stream binaurally shifts this placement. 

The lack of visuals is a strength because it allows the listener to develop a picture in their mind—their imagination sparked from the unexpected and immersive audio. For 3D audio commercials, binaural sounds enable businesses to connect with potential clients by invoking positive associations and recalling affectionate memories through sound. 

In today’s day and age of audio-first consumption, the old adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” rings more true than ever as listeners paint their own creations in their minds, just as we’ve been doing all our lives while reading. With a 3D binaural audio campaign, your messaging is that much more impactful because it’s personalized by the imagination and memory of the listener. 

Working with experts who prioritize a human-first approach to ethical storytelling, such as creative services teams, can help companies effectively use binaural audio advertisements and make meaningful and lasting client connections. See what’s possible, sign up for a Voices account to connect with voice actors and audio production professionals on your 3D binaural digital audio campaign.

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