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Marketing Tips

January 27, 2022

9

min read

The anatomy of an ad: ExpressVPN x 2 Bears 1 Cave

We collaborated with Sounds Profitable to highlight what makes a good podcast ad by breaking down real examples from popular podcasts.

This week's anatomy of an ad - Ep. 106 - 2 Bears 1 Cave

Hosted by: Tom Segura and Bert Kreischer

Ad placement: Mid-roll

Ad type: Dynamic Insertion

Start point: 00:19:12


Ad copy: 

“Going online without ExpressVPN is like leaving your kids with the nearest stranger while you use the restroom. Yeah sure probably they're going to be fine but you never know who you're trusting. What if they're a serial kidnapper or a serial killer. Every time you connect to an unencrypted network in cafes, hotels, airports, your online data is not secure. Any hacker on that same network can gain access and steal your personal data and they can make up to a thousand dollars per person selling personal info on the dark web. This is why you need to use ExpressVPN. They give you an encrypted tunnel that's a secure encrypted tunnel between your device and the internet hackers can't steal your sensitive data. It's easy to use it, works on all devices, and it's super secure. Hackers would literally have to have this super computer with over a billion years to get past ExpressVPN's encryption. I love ExpressVPN, we used it the entire time I was in Serbia to do our banking and it is absolutely great. Secure your online data today by visiting expressvpn.com/cave that's e-x-p-r-e-s-s vpn.com/cave and you get an extra three months for free: expressvpn.com/cave”


Let’s break it down to see what works:

The hook: 

“Going online without ExpressVPN is like leaving your kids with the nearest stranger while you use the restroom. Yeah sure probably they're going to be fine but you never know who you're trusting. What if they're a serial kidnapper or a serial killer. Every time you connect to an unencrypted network in cafes, hotels, airports, your online data is not secure. Any hacker on that same network can gain access and steal your personal data and they can make up to a thousand dollars per person selling personal info on the dark web."


Listeners tune into Tom and Bert’s podcast because of their comedic nature, so what better way to build interest around a VPN service than through comedy? The hosts highlight the service’s main features while staying true to the content (and the way it's usually hilariously delivered). This makes the ad sound like it naturally fits into the episode - it has contextual relevance to the podcast episode and the listeners.

The pitch:

“ExpressVPN gives you an encrypted tunnel that's a secure encrypted tunnel between your device and the internet hackers can't steal your sensitive data. It's easy to use, works on all devices, and it's super secure…I love ExpressVPN, we used it the entire time I was in Serbia to do our banking and it is absolutely great.”


This part of the ad explains what the service is, which includes its importance, its benefits, and even a personal experience. The description focuses on two main selling points: it’s super secure and it’s easy to use. The personal experience - “I love ExpressVPN, we used it the entire time I was in Serbia to do our banking and it is absolutely great” - helps connect the service to listeners who may be in the same situation.


The offer: 

“Secure your online data today by visiting expressvpn.com/cave that's e-x-p-r-e-s-s vpn.com/cave and you get an extra three months for free expressvpn.com/cave”

Listeners have access to three months of ExpressVPN for free using the code cave. This generous offering allows potential customers to give the service a go without having to worry about the financial part. This clearly highlights ExpressVPN’s confidence that listeners will enjoy the service and most likely continue their service after the three months deal is over.


Landing page: 

Although 2 Bears 1 Cave have a unique URL for ExpressVPN, their landing page isn’t personalized to the podcast. The landing page mentions the specific podcast - (“Limited-time offer for Two Bears One Cave listeners)” - but lacks any visual representation. However, it is clear that those who have entered the website via the specified link get ‘3 extra months free with a 12-month plan’. 


ExpressVPN 2 Bears 1 Cave landing page


Hits the spot:

This ad read provides listeners with a clear understanding of what the service does and why listeners would benefit from it, all the while using the language and comedy listeners are used to. 


Room for improvement:

Despite using humor to integrate the ad, and the service being relevant to the listeners, nothing in the ad ties directly to the specific topic explored in the podcast episode (let alone the topic being discussed just before the ad-read takes place). To make the ad more specific and targeted to this episode, it would have been interesting to hear the duo talk about a specific scenario in which they wished they had access to a secure VPN, maybe even going into more depth about the host’s Serbia experience. 

Partnership track record:

Over the last year, ExpressVPN has sponsored over 290 podcasts and has sponsored 2 Bears 1 Cave 12 times. 


Where else has ExpressVPN sponsored?

The Ben Shapiro Show, The Startup Story, Fantasy NBA Today Fantasy Basketball, Your Mom’s House… with over 290 different podcast partnerships, you name the show and ExpressVPN has probably been there!

What other brands have appeared on Two Bears One Cave?

Policygenius, HelloFresh, Manscaped, BetterHelp, and many more.


Key takeaways:

Despite ExpressVPN offering a less “sexy” service, they have managed to integrate with a wide variety of podcast categories. However, the most powerful ad reads are the ones where the host adds a personal experience - explaining why they depend on the service. This makes it seem like the host isn’t just reading from the script on behalf of the brand. This ad managed to achieve that, with a dose of humor for good measure. 

It would have been nice to see a more personalized landing page, but other than that this integration is a near perfect example of effective podcast advertising. 


Have you heard a great podcast ad recently? Tell us about it.

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