It may sound depressing, but a podcast about divorce turned out to be a great content push for Australia’s oldest company

We’ve conducted a collection of case studies featuring award-winning native advertising examples. This blog post features Best use of Native Advertising in a Podcast.

Introduction 

Campaign: Westpac - The Split. Check out the campaign here. 

Divorce is on the rise in Australia with a disproportionately negative impact on the financial and mental health of women. To increase awareness of this alarming reality - and their own services that might fix it - Australian bank Westpac created a podcast.

People

  • Brand: Westpac (Australia’s first bank and oldest company)
  • Publisher: Mamamia Media Group (Australian media company with the specific purpose to make the world a better place for women and girls). Agencies: MediaLab and Map and page

The Content

Separation and divorce can be a lonely and confusing experience. With this realisation as its starting point, The Split podcast was created to provide advice, confidence and company in a difficult time. A branded podcast series with eight 30-minute episodes across eight weeks. The series matched the linear path from identifying the problem to finalisation and a fresh start. Each episode relied on professional advice, first-person stories to drive empathy and references to other relevant content. The podcast aimed to have a candid conversation about divorce and separation. Not skewing too far into either motivational preach- ing or doom and gloom was important. So was the right host: Mandy Nolan. Mandy Nolan is a standup comedian and refreshingly candid, twice-divorced mother of five. She appeals to a diverse audience with no set demographic.

Distribution and Promotion

Episodes were distributed across a range of publishing platforms and the podcast is available for free. To promote episodes ahead of release, 60-second ads were created by the Mamamia pod- cast team and used across Mamamia’s own podcast network. In addition the social feeds of Mamamia - Facebook and Instagram were used both for pre-promotion and promotion after episodes had been released.

KPI

All KPIs were measured by a brand uplift study in June 2019.

Westpac targeted a 10 percent increase for each of the following measures:

  • Product familiarity
  • Product purchase intent
  • Perception that Westpac is supportive of people going through separation and divorce

After listening to the podcast, 75 percent of the audience should agree with the following statements:

  • The podcast was relatable
  • The podcast contained useful advice and actionable tips
  • The podcast’s professional and real-life stories were valuable
  • The podcast was a no judgement zone

The Results

Grow awareness of Westpac’s separation service. The target was ten percent uplift for each measure. Here are the results:

  • +15 percentage point uplift in product familiarity
  • +32 percentage point uplift in product purchase intent
  • +35 percentage point uplift in perception that Westpac is supportive of people going through separation and divorce

In terms of the podcast being helpful to individuals going through separation or divorce. 75 percent of all listeners should agree with each statement below. Here are the results:

  • The Split was relatable = 88 percent agreed
  • The Split contains useful advice and actionable tips = 93 percent agreed
  • The professional and real-life stories were valuable = 95 percent agreed
  • The Split was a no judgement zone = 97 percent agreed

Take Note

The team behind the podcast had three criteria in mind:

  1. The episodes should address existing areas that the consumers re- ally were interested in. To accomplish this they analysed search terms and behaviours to develop content.
  2. The episodes should appear when consumers searched for answers. The editorial team developed content that would surface through organic search and that life stage stakeholders saw as valuable
  3. The episodes should be evergreen. The editorial team focused on content that wouldn’t date and could be re-optimised in response to consumer voice search behaviour in the future.
  • Brand integration was a question that the campaign team had to figure out: How to integrate the brand without appearing forced or disingenuous? Westpac endorsed each of the eight episodes with opening and closing credits as well as an integrated mid-program read. These integrated commercial segments were read by the host Mandy Nolan to ensure seamless integration and covered off on Westpac’s key separation support offerings: 1) An online separation hub housing a range of free, easy to use checklists and resources developed with divorce experts. 2) Extra breathing space for customers to decide what to do with their jointly-owned property after separation by pausing or reducing home loan repayments in the short-term. While clearly commercial segments, the tone and content were consistent with the editorial content.
  • With such an emotional subject, the tone of the show was
    quite important. The team acknowledged that the delivery of the content was delivered was just as important as the substance. Neutrality had to be maintained at all times and so did the recognition that finance separation is only a part of the bigger picture. The aim was to provide information that is factual and broadly relatable and not limited to the realm of Westpac’s existing ser- vices. Perhaps most importantly: Don’t push products. An overt product focus would undermine the content.
     
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