“This episode has been brought to you by Saatva Luxury Mattresses.”
Comedian Tom Segura does an ad read for Saatva on nearly every episode of “Your Mom’s House,” the popular podcast he co-hosts with his comedian wife Christina Pazsitzky.
Any member of their cult following of 1.6 million weekly subscribers is likely able to recite this singsongy ad read verbatim. The show is not about sleep optimization or wellness or lifestyle or products. It is a fun peek into the relationship between two headliner comics for a couple hours each week when they’re watching funny TikTok videos, goofing around.
So why are they hawking mattresses? And does it work?
The trust and intimacy that makes podcast advertising work
For all the chatter about short-form content and shortening attention spans, we also have, at the same time, the emergence of long-form podcasting. Audio marketing is becoming an essential part of every content marketer’s toolbox because of the intimacy between audio hosts and their audience and how much of their attention span they are able to capture.
The average podcast length is about 30 to 40 minutes, but many of the most popular podcasts are averaging episode lengths well over two hours. That’s an incredible amount of time large audiences spend with a single host or hosts, whose endorsements greatly influence their buying habits. Let’s explore a more obvious example.
Podcasts are the medium for optimizers
“Huberman Lab” is the #3 podcast in the U.S. as of 2022. His podcast is about neuroscience and the connectivity of the brain and body. Helix and Sleep 8 were both advertisers on a recent episode on which he interviewed Dr. Gina Poe about sleep fitness. The episode has a two-hour-and-five-minute run time.
That’s a lot of people tuning in to listen to medical experts talk about how to enhance their sleep for over two hours. It is fair to assume that the majority of those people are not in the sleep/mattress industry.
His podcast caters to the detail-oriented, for those who like science and culture. They are for the seekers of the best version of the thing who like to delve into the weeds. The ad reads, done by the expert host, lend the product extra credibility and the product is seamlessly integrated into the episode content.
Experts and everymen: the 2 approaches to podcast advertising
There are two approaches to take with investing in podcast advertising: In the case of “Huberman Lab,” the choice is clear — you have an expert, talking to another expert about the topic of sleep to which the product literally applies. Even the other advertisers, while not sleep related, are health and wellness in theme.
In the case of “Your Mom’s House,” you don’t have that. The hosts are not experts, nor do they purport to be. Their sponsors are not related to one another in the same way. The way they sell is more abstract. They are speaking to the audience who buys from people they trust, who they perceive to be good-intentioned folks. Science and metrics do not appeal to them the way it does to Huberman’s audience.
Saatva and Helix and many others on other podcasts are renewing their sponsorships. It’s an effective method of content marketing. Yet no mattress or sleep companies make it to Veritonic’s top podcast advertiser’s list, which tells me the space is not saturated with sleep and mattress ad reads. There is dead air to fill.