How do podcast ads help brands achieve top-of-mind awareness?

More than 4,000 brands have advertised on podcasts. Get a heads-up when new brands test podcasts as a marketing channel for the first time: learn more.

Nielsen recently reported that ads on podcasts for popular brands have 69% top-of-mind awareness while lesser-known brands have 17% awareness. Nielsen also noted from a previous study that 64% of people agree that the podcast ads fit with the content.

In a similar vein, research from Edison’s Infinite Dial showed an increase in podcast listeners and found that 54% of podcast consumers are likely to buy something they heard about on podcasts.

How are podcasts so successful at helping brands achieve top-of-mind awareness? Magellan tracks and analyzes ads on the top 2,000 podcasts. Here, we’ll take a detailed look at ads for AncestryDNA, a DNA testing service, and Care/of, a personal care brand.

Ancestry DNA

We first picked up ads from AncestryDNA in September 2018. Since then we have picked up ads on sixteen different podcasts.

Ancestry DNA ran ads on Imagined Life from November to March, a total of five months. Imagined Life, an Arts podcast, takes you on a journey through a famous person’s life, except that you don’t know who it is until the episode ends. The ads were host read and endorsed the product. Ads were similar to this mid-roll ad, where Robbie starts off by saying that last year he took a DNA test. He says he was surprised by how much insight he gained into his family tree and history. Robbie talks about their precise geographical and historical insight, along with the fact that AncestryDNA has the largest consumer DNA database. He directs his listeners to

AncestryDNA ran ads on American Scandal from September to November, and then again in February, for a total of four months American Scandal is a Society & Culture podcast. Host Lindsay, tells stories about different American Scandals, how they happened and who’s at fault. In this mid-roll ad, Lindsay shares a story about his family history. He talks about knowing his family history, but AncestryDNA allowed him to learn more precise geographical and historical insights and see where his family story began. Just like the ad from Imagined Life, this ad uses the words “precise geographical and historical insight” and references their large consumer database. Listeners are directed to


Care/of is a personalized vitamin and protein powder company, we first picked up on podcasts in January 2018. Since then they have appeared on over 250 podcasts.

Care/of ran ads on Something You Should Know from January 2018 to April 2019, a total of 15 months, though no ads were picked up in March 2018. Something You Should Know is a Society & Culture podcast. The host Mike interviews experts to give listeners information and advice on various topics. In this host read mid-roll ad, Mike endorses the product saying, “I’ve taken the quiz,” referring to Care/of’s quiz to determine which vitamins you need. He also mentions how they donate a portion of the sales to the Good Plus Foundation. At the end of the ad he offers his listeners 50% off their first order by going to and entering the discount code something50.

Care/of is a long-time sponsor of The Read. We picked up ads for Care/of on The Read from January 218 to March 2019, a total of 12 months, no ads were picked up in April 2018, July 2018, and September 2018. The Read is a Comedy podcast about two friends who talk about all things hip-hop, pop culture and adjusting to their life in NYC. This host read mid-roll ad includes a personal endorsement from Crissle. The ad starts off with Kid describing what Care/of is and how easy it is to get started. Then Crissle personally endorses the product and talks about why she loves it. At the end of the ad they offer their listeners 50% off their first month by going to

So, why do podcast ads resonate with listeners?

One thing all these ads have in common is that the hosts make the ads personalize and fit with the content of the show. Instead of the ad feeling like an “ad”, they flow with the content and allow the listener to connect with the host(s). That makes podcast ads memorable, helping brands achieve that 69% top-of-mind awareness statistic.

Magellan AI creates tools that help marketers at brands like SimpliSafe, Wix, and ThredUP spend intelligently on podcast advertising. Podcast publishers like WNYC and Gimlet Media use Magellan to track advertisers spending money in the podcast space. Learn More.

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Magellan AI

Magellan AI helps leading podcast networks like WNYC, Gimlet Media and Wondery grow revenue. Discover 4,000+ brands advertising on podcasts at