The holiday shopping season is largely considered the most consequential for US retailers with everyone trying to increase their share of the $1.31B* in consumer spending projected for 2023.  This highly competitive and lucrative time period is also one of the most difficult ones for retail advertisers to break through, stand out and get consumers to buy from them instead of their competition.  Even if you are not in a position to outspend or outshout some of your competitors – there are some creative ways to use podcast advertising to get your message heard.  

The goal of our team is to always make sure that the brands that work with Ad Results Media will find themselves in the Right Place, at the Right Time and in the Right Content.  Here are a few creative suggestions for how to do that this holiday season.

Create an Unexpected Experience: Develop Unboxing Content With Podcast Hosts 

Unboxing content and “haul” videos are some of the most popular content on YouTube. There is just something so appealing about watching people we trust or admire share some of their favorite products, item-by-item, with their own personal reviews and opinions. Podcast hosts are some of the most trusted creators out there and their audience wants their product reviews – with 68% of consumers saying they are most likely to consider brands they hear about on podcasts even more so than other channels like social media, TV and radio**. 

This holiday season give your audience the content they crave in an unexpected format.  Partner with your favorite podcast hosts and have them create unboxing content for your brand.  Send them a pretty package with lots of noisy packaging to unwrap in ASMR-style.  The items you gift should be specifically curated for each host according to their likes and dislikes and the overall vibe of their show.  Make them feel special and they will share their love for your brand with their audience.  This tactic can be effective for shows that have both audio and video as well as those that are audio-only.  

Be Part of the Solution: Help Your Audience De-stress

If one thing is universally true about the holidays – it is that they can be super stressful for most people and everyone is looking for a way to relax and take some time to themselves. Enter podcasts. According to, podcasts are a great tool to help with your overall mental health and well-being. And the number one reason cited is that they reduce stress and anxiety: “Podcasts can be a great way to relax and de-stress. When you're feeling overwhelmed, taking a break to listen to a podcast can help to center and calm you.”

There is a huge opportunity for holiday advertisers to be part of the solution through creative partnerships with podcasts and other brands.  When developing your ad creative, start with the assumption that your target audience is trying to relax and get a little “me time” while listening to their favorite podcast. This should be the context with which you begin your creative ideation - respect their intent and create ads that will be conducive to de-stressing.  This should inform your script, voice talent, call-to-action and music choices.  

If you want to take it a step further, you could also do co-branded ads with products that are known for their benefits to mental health like meditation products, fitness studios, travel providers, concierge services or at-home spa products.  These brand partnerships could take the form of limited run collaborations or gift with purchase offers.

Mindset Matters: Reach Holiday Travelers in Search of Last-minute Items

Podcasts are the ultimate travel companion. Whether you are a family hopping into the car to drive to grandmas, or a college kid flying home for the holidays or a couple taking the train to your in-laws – you are likely listening to a podcast while you are in transit.  And 9 times out of 10, you are going to realize you forgot something while you are en route. Even the most organized of holiday planners forget something – anything and everything from last minute gifts to travel necessities to key ingredients from the grocery store.  

This mindset provides a real opportunity for podcast advertisers to drive traffic to brick-and-mortar retail locations and increase sales of last-minute items.  While the increase in e-commerce sales has been staggering coming out of the pandemic, most US consumers still buy in-store. Of the $1.31B in projected retail sales for 2023, it is anticipated that $1.06B will be non-ecommerce retail*.  Ad creative should focus on finding nearest locations, curbside pick-up and free gift wrapping services.

Deals Matter More this Year: Use DAI to Deliver Timely & Relevant Offers

Everywhere you turn, people are talking about inflation and the impact it is having on their wallets.  This is certainly evident in retailers growing use of discounts across all categories.  The 2022 shopping seasons saw double-digit increases over 2021 in the use of discounts to help meet consumer demand for ways to save on their holiday shopping***.  This trend is expected to continue in 2023.

The great news for podcast advertisers is that with the increased adoption of dynamic ad insertion within new and back catalog shows, they can now serve seasonal and time sensitive offers with precision.  In addition to leveraging some of the popular host-endorsed formats, advertisers can advertise their limited time deals to their target audiences.

Emarketer Chart - Holiday Discounts
eMarketer, Holiday Discounts by Category, 2021-2022.

The time is now to get going on your holiday planning.  Make sure to take advantage of the unique creative opportunities offered by podcast advertising and reach out to the Ad Results Media team today.


* Source: Insider Intelligence | Marketer, June 2023

**Source: Sounds Profitable The Medium Moves the Message

** Source: Adobe Digital Insights, "Unboxing the 2022 Holiday Shopping Results," Jan 11, 2023