In the 2010s, YouTube channels were the thing. People tried their absolute best to have a successful YouTube channel.

Naturally, brands decided to join in. Any brand that managed to get a successful channel up and running was seen as a step ahead of the rest

While YouTube channels are still very much a thing, they are no longer the only thing

Podcasts started back in 2004, but they entered the chat in a big way in 2014 and have been growing in popularity ever since. 

Now — in 2024 — podcasts are huge, and brands everywhere should consider throwing their mics into the ring. 

Not sure about this? 

Alrika Möller from media update is ready to convince you with three branded podcasts that actually work. 

Okay, let's start at the very beginning. 


What is a branded podcast? 

Branded podcasts are podcast series created or sponsored by a company with the aim of promoting their brand.

This is regardless of whether or not they are actively promoting, marketing or even talking about the brand. If the brand is paying for it or attached to it in some way, it is classified as a branded podcast. 

So, now that we know what it is, we can take a look at three branded podcasts and what brands can learn from them.  


Laager Visual Podcast by Laager Rooibos 

In May of 2024, Laager Rooibos announced the launch of its new podcast. The podcast aims to connect a long-standing brand with a new audience. 

It will feature brand ambassadors Lebo Ndala, Tebo Ndala and Mbali Mapholi spilling the tea on some new recipes and nutritional tips. The podcast is mainly visual, meaning that every episode is recorded in a video format. 

Laager realised that podcasts are a practical way to share information about its products in a way that is easily understandable and digestible to its audience. 

The recipes shared in the episodes introduce existing customers to new ways it can use Laager Rooibos. It also opens the door for new customers to try the brand and the recipes. 

By using existing brand ambassadors, the brand wasn’t starting from scratch. The Ndala twins and Mapholi already have a big online following and a lot of people associate them with the brand anyway due to their work as brand ambassadors. 

Laager Visual Podcast builds the relationships and trust that customers have in Laager. It is giving the brand a face and a voice that can become part of their daily lives.  


The Penguin Podcast by Penguin Books UK  

Penguin Random House is a global company that is known by many, many people. When it decided to start a podcast in June of 2015, it was set up for success

The Penguin Podcast exists on the premise of interviewing the authors of the books Penguin publishes. 

The interviews cover topics ranging from:

  • where the writers get their inspiration

  •  what their writing process looks like, and

  •  just about anything they are willing to chat about. 

The podcast managed to grow a massive follower base that brought readers and writers together. People would find authors they didn't know about, or get a little behind-the-scenes look at how their favourite books were written. 

The publisher created a community

By starting the podcast, Penguin managed to strengthen the love some people had for certain books, extend the shelf life of others and introduce listeners to authors and genres they hadn't considered before. 

It was never just about marketing or promoting a single book but rather about making listeners feel connected to authors and other readers — hopefully causing them to read even more.  


Smulcast by smul 

smul is a new health food brand that launched in South Africa in May 2024. The brand provides healthy and nutritious food and snacks with the idea that everyone should have access to healthy food and snacks that fit into their lifestyle while also tasting good. 

The healthy food debate is an ongoing conversation that people on all platforms join in on. 

That is why smul created the Smulcast — a podcast centred around discussing nutrition and the many ways it can impact your life and health.

For most of the episodes, the brand doesn't even mention smul products. It does, however, have experts, dietitians and doctors discussing gut health, the psychological aspects of food and everything in between.

For a new brand, this is a clever move.

Podcasts are a great way to introduce listeners to the brand and what it stands for, increasing brand awareness

It also manages to establish smul as an industry leader in its subject matter, as it will become a source of information for the people who listen to its podcast. 

Podcasts can offer brands a range of benefits, as long as they know what they want to say and they are willing to pick up the microphone


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Are you thinking about starting a podcast for your brand? Check out A guide to podcast formats [Infographic].

*Image courtesy of Canva