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Podcast

April 19, 2022

9

min read

The anatomy of an ad: Thick & Thin x Away

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: I am my own worst enemy - Thick & Thin X Away

Hosted by: Katy Belotte

Ad placement: Pre-roll

Ad type: Dynamic insertion

Start point: 01:37

Ad copy: 

“So, okay listen to this scenario - I am flying to my sister's college town pretty soon for her graduation. There are no direct flights to her college town so I have to take a flight with a connection and it's one of those short connections. So, I have to like run through the airport to make sure I make the second flight. It's like a whole thing. The one thing that I know is not going to be stressful about this journey is fitting everything into my Away carry-on suitcase. No matter what, no matter where you need to go, Away offers a range of suitcases and other travel products made of different materials in a variety of colors and sizes so whatever you need to bring with you, Away has luggage that will help make your next trip more seamless. Start your 100-day trial and shop the entire Away lineup of travel essentials, including their best-selling suitcases at awaytravel.com/thick. That's awaytravel.com/thick - definitely check it out and see why I'm so obsessed." 

Let’s break it down to see what works:

The hook: 

“So, okay listen to this scenario - I am flying to my sister's college town pretty soon for her graduation. There are no direct flights to her college town so I have to take a flight with a connection and it's one of those short connections. So, I have to like run through the airport to make sure I make the second flight. It's like a whole thing. The one thing that I know is not going to be stressful about this journey is fitting everything into my Away carry-on suitcase.” 

Thick & Thin’s podcast starts off with quite the collection of ads, everything from Canva’s platform to Away’s suitcases. However, it's nice to hear that before each brand promotion, Katy Belotte adds a creative hook. In this specific sponsorship, the host mentions a personal experience - flying to her sister’s college town and stressing about flight connections - causing the listener to think ‘yup, that’s relatable’ and continue listening to how she plans to reduce her stress - Away’s suitcase.  

The pitch:

“No matter what, no matter where you need to go, Away offers a range of suitcases and other travel products made of different materials in a variety of colors and sizes so whatever you need to bring with you, Away has luggage that will help make your next trip more seamless.” 

This part of the ad highlights the brand's unique selling points - its wide range of suitcases and travel products, as well as customers’ ability to customize the products according to their preferences. The podcast host emphasizes that Away is determined to not only help customers have a more seamless travel experience but make sure they travel in style. 

Unfortunately, the quick ad-read only mentions “different material in a variety of colors and sizes…that will help make your next trip more seamless” - leaving listeners questioning, ‘what features does Away’s luggage include that will make my next travel experience more seamless?’. According to their website, Away’s suitcases come with inner compartments (so you can separate dirty laundry from the few clean clothes you have left, am I right?), a built-in USB charger, and 360-degree spinner wheels. These sound like bigger selling points than just having different color options to choose from, so it’s a shame these features weren’t covered in the ad. 

The offer: 

“Start your 100-day trial and shop the entire Away lineup of travel essentials, including their best-selling suitcases at awaytravel.com/thick. That's awaytravel.com/thick - definitely check it out and see why I'm so obsessed.” 

According to the host of Thick & Thin, listeners who enter the site via ‘awaytravel.com/thick’ can test out Away’s entire lineup of travel essentials for 100 days. However, Katy Belotte fails to mention what exactly ‘100 day trial’ entails - Do listeners get to try the products and return them if they aren’t happy? 

In order to give you a full breakdown of the podcast ad, I entered Away’s website via the link mentioned above (I have to test it out, so you don’t have to). The landing page doesn’t mention Thick & Thin podcast listeners' special promotion or the ‘100 day trial’. Honestly, I was hoping for a more in-depth explanation. 

Away landing page

Hits the spot:

The ad-read and enthusiasm about the service sound natural and the relatable, personal anecdote definitely adds a persuasive touch. Although this specific brand promotion takes place after two different ad-reads, it is quick and gets right to the point, touching on the basics. 

Room for improvement:

Although this ad-read checked all the boxes (sounded natural, personal anecdote hooked the listener, and highlighted the brand’s USP lightly), it leaves listeners with questions - which on one hand causes potential customers to enter the website from curiosity or completely ignore the advertisement because the information shared isn’t enticing enough. Here are a few points for improvement:

  • More in-depth explanation about the brand’s unique selling points, in this case - how Away’s products can help create a more seamless travel experience. 
  • Emphasizing the special promotion (highlighting the details and repeating the promo more than once) 
  • The landing page - awaytravel.com/thick - can reference the podcast or the special promo code
  • Extra points: the host can add what products she’s ‘obsessed’ with. This will help listeners not only believe that the host actually uses Away’s products, but then they can shop and travel with the same products that Katy Belotte swears by.   

Partnership track record:

Over the last year, Away has sponsored 88 podcasts and has sponsored Thick & Thin once. 

Where else has Away sponsored?

Broke Girl Therapy, True Crime Garage, Keep It!, The only one in the room

What other brands have appeared on Thick & Thin?

BetterHelp, Canva, Best Fiends, Native, Parada Underwear, Uncommon Goods

Takeaways:

I hope your travel is as quick and to the point as this ad-read for Away. Listeners of Thick & Thin are probably familiar with the host's decision to place a thread of ad-reads, one after the other, in the podcast episode’s introduction. However, it increases the chances of listeners skipping over the brand promotions - this may be the reason the host decided to quickly cover all the bases without much emphasis on details. 

Although the personal travel experience (and relatable travel anxiety) definitely added an extra touch to the ad-read, ultimately I was left with more questions than answers - what makes Away stand out from other suitcase brands? What do I get for using the podcast’s promo code? What product should I even buy? 

Ad-read aside, it was refreshing to come across an Away sponsorship! As is clearly highlighted in the graph below, the pandemic caused Away to reduce its sponsorship. It looks like travel is back in full force, and so is the need for high-quality suitcases and other travel essentials. 

 

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