Merck Italia drives awareness for healthcare podcast with digital audio ads

Science and technology company Merck Italia has been on a mission to demystify Multiple Sclerosis (MS) for decades. In an effort to shed light on this all-too-common condition among its Italian audience, the brand recently leveraged Spotify to promote their podcast, “No Ifs, No Buts: All About Multiple Sclerosis." With the power of digital audio ads, they were able to reach audiences who were genuinely interested in learning more about MS.

The media mix:

Brand vertical: Healthcare, Life Science, Electronics
Objective: Awareness
Target audience: Italian Listeners, All Ages
Targeting used: Location, Interests (Culture & Society, Science & Medicine)
Market: Italy
Flight length: 12/30/2021–12/30/2022
Format: Audio

The Brief:

Merck Italia is committed to finding solutions to the toughest challenges in healthcare. As part of this mission, the company launched a new podcast, “No Ifs, No Buts: All About Multiple Sclerosis," to spread awareness about MS, a disease that affects more than two million people worldwide.1 In this weekly, 28-episode series, neurologists and experts in the field answer questions from people living with MS.

Merck Italia was eager to promote the podcast to a wide audience of listeners, increasing its impact and driving awareness about the disease.

The Solution:

Merck Italia hoped to tap into Spotify's audience of 274 million ad-supported listeners.2 The unique ad format of digital audio offered a lot of flexibility, which was part of the medium's appeal.

Merck Italia had never launched digital audio ads before. To get this first campaign just right, they partnered with Digital Angels, an agency with years of experience using Spotify Ad Studio, our self-serve advertising platform.

Together, Merck Italia and Digital Angels created audio ads unique to each podcast episode, plus a set of ads to promote the series as a whole. With Ad Studio, they were able to perfect their scripts and add background music from the Spotify Ads library. Digital Angels also paired each audio ad with a custom display ad, featuring a unique graphic tailored to each episode.

To reach a broad audience, Merck Italia targeted listeners of all genders and ages with interests in Culture & Society and Science & Medicine.

The Impact:

The digital audio campaign brought excellent results for both awareness and traffic. Over six months, Merck Italia achieved. 0.3% clickthrough rate (CTR), driving 7.8 million impressions and a 93% completion rate for their ads.

Overall campaign results:

  • 7.8M

    7.8 million impressions delivered

  • 93%

    Completion rate

The Takeaway:

This healthcare advertising case study demonstrates how brands can effectively partner with agencies and drive success from digital audio ads—even on their first attempt. By tapping into self-serve ad platforms like Ad Studio, brands can access the advanced tools they need to experiment with new formats and make a widespread impact.

“Spotify Ad Studio proved to be an excellent ally in achieving the awareness and consideration objectives set by the customer. The platform allowed us to capture the attention of the target user at any time of the day, thanks to the use of innovative formats and the ability to customize the ads."

— Antonio Mosca, Media Lead, Digital Angels

“We are proud of the way partners like Digital Angels are increasingly leveraging the power of audio to help clients in achieving their business and marketing goals, and reaching their audience in a personalized and effective way. Even more if it increases awareness around an important and sensitive topic, such as this one.”

— Vas Katsanis, Head of SMB Advertising, Central and Southern Europe, Spotify

Interested in launching your own audio ads? Learn more about striking the right chord with Spotify Ad Studio.


  1. Understanding MS, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2023.
  2. "Highlights for advertisers from Spotify's Q3 2022 earnings," Spotify. October 2022.

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