Inside: Audible Suno’s attempt to capture Audio OTT market with recent campaign

Audible Suno'

Celebrating the power of storytelling, Audible Suno’s recent campaign sets the tone with BTown A-listers. Social Samosa descends deeper into the campaign’s objective and execution.

‘Ruskin Bond’s stories to come alive as audiobooks in his own voice’- I still remember this day when the news floated across social media. The very first thing, like most of the netizens, I did was to share it in my circle and amaze many others. Needless to say, Bond’s stories are timeless classics and being the one who has admired his storytelling for years, I was beyond than only being amazed.  

Though the story below has no connection to Ruskin Bond it does puts the spotlight on the power of ‘storytelling’ – whether it was the Nani Maa narrating them to us in the good old ‘bachpan ke din’ or self-reading them from the age-stained books or watching a beautiful story on the big screen, stories and the art of storytelling have always been an integral part of our daily chores.

Recently, the Amazon company Audible launched its India-first app, Suno, claiming to abode a library of 60 audio shows in Hindi and English across including scripted fiction as well as non-fiction.  

Further cementing its arrival, Audible rolled out its marketing campaign, which highlights the power of storytelling through the medium of audio and has given Indian entertainment A-listers, including Tabu, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Anurag Kashyap Vir Das, and Tahira Kashyap, a new platform to explore their craft.

Tabu’s storytelling and Kashyap’s thrill

The 30 second commercial featuring Tabu and Anurag Kashyap for Thriller Factory as the originals narrators of the show transports the viewer to a theatrical and unlikely set-up telling a compelling story.

The dramatic story draws the viewer in, but also has them confused about the bizarre set-up the actors are in. Only a sudden distraction makes them realize that none of it is real – it’s all a product of the vivid imagination of the protagonist in the ad who is listening to the show on her commute. The ad film ends by showcasing the vast breadth of Suno’s 60 titles, which are free of cost and available to stream on Android devices.

Campaign rationale and Insight

The key insight was a simple but strong one:  Most Indians have memories from a time they listened to stories in their grandmothers’ laps – these were stories brought to life through powerful, dramatic narrations in familiar and loved voices.   

“Via the campaign, we wanted to evoke this sense of nostalgia, and land the message that this service encourages listeners to experience and immerse themselves in some powerful stories, and while we can’t have them told in your grandmothers voice, we can compensate by having them told in some of India’s most famous voices, in 3D sound design and of course, encourage you to avail of the ultimate enhancer– your imagination,” shared Shailesh Sawlani, Country Head, Audible India.

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Key objective

Conceptualized by Orchard, Publicis Groupe, the key goal of the campaign was to bring alive the true power of storytelling by sparking imagination.

●        Bring back the focus on experiencing stories in the format they have been enjoyed in since time immemorial – listening

●        Depicting the powerful experience of Suno

●        Highlighting key content and overall width and breadth of titles offered

●        Inform the audience on Suno being absolutely free and available for download on play store

The Big Brief

The brief shared with the Orchard team was to launch a new spoken word entertainment service under Audible and speak to an audience that’s already tuned into regional content across myriad platforms.

Also, the success of the campaign was to be measured by effective reach, app downloads, and listenership metrics

Unexpected situations lead to unexpected reactions

Only if we could borrow some of that humour and positivity, #TahiraKashyap. Listen to My Ex-Breast on Audible Suno featuring special guest Ayushmann Khurrana. Download the app now and listen for free!

Posted by Audible Suno on Friday, 7 February 2020

Creative Thoughtprocess

At a time when we are constantly bombarded with OTT video content, a campaign for an audio brand was a challenge lying before the team, which needed a lot of thinking.

“We understood that people currently are in no dearth for content, however they do still have an appetite for good regional content. Audible Suno was just not about aural content.  It was about the wonderful voices that relay this content,” highlighted Gaurav Dudeja, EVP and Branch Head, Leo Burnett Orchard Bangalore.

Hence visually the creative team had to showcase voices that bring words to life to keep the audience captivated.

Designing the campaign

The campaign is designed to highlight the powerful experience that audio has to offer, showing how captivating it can be. Dudeja briefed that it uses simple and relatable moments in one’s life to showcase the need for gripping storytelling, which is further enhanced by the power of one’s imagination.

The creatives were designed to grab attention and show that audio is indeed a game changer in today’s world, and can be enjoyed on-the-go for free

Of marketing an audio-only platform

Sawlani believes Audio is only growing in leaps and bounds as a medium, because in our increasingly busy lives, multitasking has to be the name of the game.

He added, “While out and about, working out or just in the midst of daily humdrum chores, you don’t always have the liberty to completely give yourself to the visual experience. The fact that it is free and completely ad-free too, is an additional bonus!”.

Suno is ideal for, as he likes to say, a time when your eyes and hands are busy but your mind is not!

Meanwhile, for Dudeja, the challenge lies in elevating the experience of audio and almost make it compete with video to retain audience attention.  “The content is brought to life through the use of best in class audio artists, celebrities, standup comedians and content writers who have been celebrated directors and authors in the film industry,” he stated.  

Media Mix

Audible Suno announced the launch by branding modes of commute (bus shelters, cabs and metros) i.e. its key usage occasion with marquee titles. This was accompanied by a sustained PR and digital media strategy. In January 2020, the company launched the debut TV ads across leading English and Hindi channels for a six week duration.

It is also supplemented with print ads in leading dailies across the country and outdoor advertisements. Sawlani noted, “We have also created audio-only clips specifically for movie theatres, which feature powerful voices like Amitabh Bachchan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui narrating clips from their shows, against a black screen to showcase the power of Suno.”

According to him, this has been a digital forward campaign, with Audible Suno being live on almost all digital and social channels right from the day of launch.

The company has gone all out in marking its presence across social media platforms including Youtube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with video snippets and still creatives on a daily basis to keep the buzz going.

Currently, the company’s  main focus with Audible Suno is to create a democratized listening experience and give people access to great content, irrespective of where they are. “ROI will come later,” Sawlani signed off.