Case study

Paramount+ quizzes Alexa listeners about forensics in a spine-chilling interactive audio campaign


You’ve used Alexa to listen to your favorite songs, set alarms, and build grocery lists. But did you know it could also be integrated in advertising campaigns—even by brands that don’t sell directly on Amazon?

That’s exactly what Paramount+ did for the launch of The Chemistry of Death, a gripping crime-thriller adaptation of Simon Beckett’s best-selling novel that follows a retired forensic pathologist who finds himself drawn to an irresistible investigation. Partnering with Amazon Ads in Germany, the streaming service pulled out all the stops to generate awareness and buzz for the series, which marked one of Bavaria’s first local productions and featured a star-studded cast—including Harry Treadaway (Mr. Mercedes, Star Trek: Picard), Hardy Krüger Jr. (Gegen den Wind, Stauffenberg), and Jeanne Goursaud (Barbaren).

Launching a Branded Experience with Alexa

Interactive audio ads allow for seamless engagement between listeners and brands where, after an ad plays, listeners can reply with a call-to-action that either creates reminders, adds items to cart, or sends more information via email. Paramount+ went a step further for the release of The Chemistry of Death by not only leveraging voice commands in their campaign, but also rolling out a Branded Experience with Alexa (BEA).

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Through the initiative, audiences who heard or saw an Amazon ad promoting the series were prompted to say, “Alexa, open The Chemistry of Death” to their Echo device. This voice command launched a quiz, where listeners tested their knowledge on forensics and answered a handful of questions—ranging from entomology to the speed in which a body decomposes after death (which, by the way, is four minutes). After completing the quiz, Alexa prompted users to set a reminder on their Echo device for the launch date of the series.

Branded Experience with Alexa featuring a forensic quiz for The Chemistry of Death

The interactive experience was paired with Fire TV ads, with the goal of maximizing awareness across multiple ad products.

Fire TV screen

Fire TV Feature Rotator and Inline Banner featuring Paramount+ original series The Chemistry of Death

Finding creative inspiration to engage listeners

The team behind the campaign says that the BEA was an effective tool because it naturally built on the premise of the series. As Justin Feinstein, creative director of audio ads at Amazon, explains, “We took inspiration from the detailed and fascinating science throughout the book, and created a forensic pathology quiz to engage listeners.”

Feinstein recalls that they were also careful to make sure the quiz was relevant, without giving away too much about the plot. “Some questions were based on real science from the book, but we also researched further into the field of forensic science to formulate others,” he says. “This gave the BEA a broader scope and allowed it to resonate beyond promotion of the show, while still conveying the tone and subject matter and not revealing any spoilers.”

Fostering higher ad recall and driving awareness

In total, the campaign delivered 60.51 million impressions, with two-thirds of listeners interacting with the experience for more than 90 seconds—translating to a high level of engagement with the Alexa skill and, consequently, with the brand itself. Notably, after hearing the ad and completing the quiz, users described the experience as 2.6x more relevant2, while ad recall was 88% higher compared to third party benchmark.3

60.5 million impressions

The campaign delivered a total of 60.5 million impressions


66% of listeners interacted with the experience more than 90 seconds

Ad recall

88% higher ad recall compared to third party benchmark

1Amazon internal, Germany, March 2023
2-3 Robocrowd Brand Lift, Paramount+, Germany, March 2023

Note: Results are based on observations by one advertiser only, driven by a custom campaign for the advertiser’s original series created with their specific goals in mind.