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Alexa radio ads to let people donate direct to charity

Melanie May | 6 October 2020 | News

Voice technology company, Say It Now, has teamed up with digital advertising exchange DAX to enable people to respond to radio ads on their Alexa-enabled smart speaker and use voice commands to donate directly to their chosen charity.

NSPCC, RNIB, Crisis, Macmillan Cancer Support and Global’s Make Some Noise are the first to benefit, with each planning separate advertising campaigns.

Say It Now uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to develop technology that lets computers talk to people in the same way that people have conversations with each other, with a specific focus on voice transactions. It secured funding from Innovate UK to create the donation channel for not-for-profit organisations.


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Targeted audio ads will run specifically on devices that support a voice-assistant, with listeners given the option of finding out more about the individual charity or donating straight away with a simple verbal instruction, providing the voice assistant is directly linked to a payment service, with the connected nature of the devices enabling the direct effect of ad spend on user engagement to be measured.

Charlie Cadbury, CEO and co-founder of Say It Now, commented:

“The pandemic has accelerated existing trends, paving the way for voice technology which is versatile, contactless and increasingly part of daily life.  The Innovate UK funding enables us to use our voice experience and work alongside our media partner DAX to develop ‘tech for good’ as charities look for new ways to generate income in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.  The aim is to demonstrate that ‘voice giving’ is a viable donation channel both now and for the future.”

Alex McDowell, Head of Public Fundraising at the RNIB, said:

“RNIB are always looking at new ways we can inspire support and make it easier for people to contribute to our vision and we are delighted to involved in this innovative programme. Not only does it provide a frictionless way for people to support RNIB’s work, it also has wider benefits to blind and partially sighted people, who will experience this service in exactly the same way as all Alexa users.”