Nuance launches Voice Ads platform, now ads can talk back to you

Nuance, which supplies Apple with the voice-recognition engine behind Siri, on Monday introduced a new voice-driven advertising platform. No, this isn’t one of the April Fools’ Day jokes hitting the web today. They are calling it Voice Ads and with a reason, too: the system gives advertisers an opportunity to literally create conversations with consumers through the power of voice recognition and interactivity.

We’re not sure how users will react to mobile ads that talk back to them, but we’ll admit that the addition of voice – when used the right way – could enhance mobile advertising by going beyond the limitations of mobile devices’ limited screen real estate…

From Nuance’s media release:

Brands can create lasting impressions by getting users to vocally engage in the ad experiences. Never before has a brand been able to have a personal dialogue with over a billion users. This is the mass intimacy brands have been craving.

The platform is optimized for mobile location awareness, mobility and voice input.

The potentials of this tech could be far-reaching because a simple conversation is one of the most natural and engaging ways of interaction. And, there’s no denying that voice certainly helps a great deal in building lasting impressions with brands.

“An ad appears and prompts the consumer to participate by speaking to it,” Nuance explains. “From there, the conversation drives the experience, which is tailored to meet both the needs of the brand and the consumer.”

With Voice Ads, you could interact with ads by asking questions and receiving witty responses, Siri style.

An example March Madness Voice Ad lets you ask who’s playing when and get real-time results, how cool is that?

Here’s another nice demo.

Nuance has launched the Voice Ads platform through partnerships with big name advertisers, ad agencies and creative shops such as Digitas, OMD and Leo Burnett.

Mobile ad firms Millennial Media, Jumptap and Opera Mediaworks are also part of the initiative.

These partners will provide distribution to “more than 100,000 app publishers and hundreds of millions of consumers globally,” Nuance claims.

Nuance is definitely onto something here and I find it peculiar how they beat Google, the online advertising behemoth, to the voice advertising punch.

Can you picture yourself conversing with ads?