Spotify Advertising Academy


Listen worked with Spotify to develop audio strategy and content for the Spotify Advertising Academy, a new online education platform that provides courses and certification in audio advertising. Listen developed sonic branding and voicover strategy for audio content that illustrate best practices and key topics across the entire curriculum.


Sonic Brand Strategy, Audio Editing & Mixing, Voice Casting, Scriptwriting


Audio Advertising, Educational Content


In an effort to expand awareness and knowledge about digital audio advertising for a broad range of prospective advertisers, Spotify wanted to equip smaller and mid-sized businesses with tools to help them create effective audio ads.

By providing a basic understanding of audio ad strategy, sonic branding, and audio content production in a fun and accessible way, the objective was to lower barriers of entry to brand marketers and business owners to consider producing their own audio ads.


Building upon our long-term partnership with Spotify (including an earlier project where we demonstrated how audio ads work), we began by collaborating on the written lessons providing tips and best practices for creating a sonic brand identity.


To demonstrate how choices made in music composition and sound design can change perceptions of a brand, we then created four examples of sonic identities that were designed according to distinct attributes — down to earth, high tech, luxury & premium, and warm & comforting.

Down To Earth
High Tech
Luxury & Premium
Warm & Comforting


We then applied this approach to a specific brand, so we devised a sonic strategy for a faux brand (Spore, a flower store) and created personas for two reoccuring characters (Finn and Ava) that would be heard throughout multiple lessons.


For "Finn the Florist" and "Ava the Agency Account Manager," we developed character backstories, wrote scripts for their spoken introductions, and produced audio assets to illustrate the connection between business goals and creative decisions when it comes to advertising.

Finn Intro
Ava Intro


We also wanted to show how much a voice personality can change listeners' perception of a brand or ad message, so we build out a set of different personality characteristics — trustworthy, inspiring, playful, warm — that were used to cast and direct voice actors, all of whom were asked to read the same script.


We created four variations on Spore's audio ad, with talent selected and directed to perform according to the four different personality characteristics. Through these examples, we were able to show how a strategically-driven approach to defining and casting a voice can determine how a brand's message is received.


Spore Ad - Trustworthy & Assertive
Spore Ad - Inspiring
Spore Ad - Playful
Spore Ad - Warm & Cozy


Since launching in English in North America, there has been strong demand globally for Ad Academy's content. This has resulted in expanded development of the site targeting regional markets, where we have been translating scripts, casting talent, and producing new audio content in Spanish and Portuguese, with more markets to be added in the near future.

Meet Finn (Spanish)
Meet Ava (Portuguese)