People respond better to ads across multiple platforms, study says

You would think seeing an ad everywhere is plain annoying, but new research shows people actually engage better when they see an ad on several platforms.

A study by ad sales firm Spectrum Reach and IPG’s media intelligence arm Magna Global, provided exclusively to Digiday, compared the impact of advertising across single versus multiple media screens. When testing combinations of linear television, connected television and mobile, researchers found that a multiscreen approach increases ad attention and retention and purchase intent for consumers.

While all media combinations drove awareness, CTV and linear appeared most memorable for consumers. And in particular, ads on the big screen and intentional viewing through CTV left people wanting to hear more after the ads and increased their purchase intent especially when combined with other platforms.

“What was confirmed is that [multiscreen] continues to increase in significance, but to do it properly you have to start at the foundation with linear,” Michael Guth, svp of marketing at Spectrum Reach, told Digiday. “The relative importance of linear remains strong. We were pleasantly surprised, but not shocked. It’s just another reminder that as the world continues to evolve … linear TV is a critical piece to every solution.”

Spectrum Reach and Magna Global surveyed 1,684 people based on their natural media consumption over a one-week period. The study found that upper-funnel metrics, such as ad attention and unaided brand awareness, saw double-digit increases with multiscreen campaigns compared to using one platform. Lower-funnel metrics, like purchase intent and search intent, also saw positive results in a multiscreen strategy.

Additional findings from the ad mix study include:

  • Consumers were more likely to respond to ads if they saw them across different screens, with 41% of survey respondents claiming better recall when they saw the same spot across linear, CTV and mobile.
  • Three forms of media appear better than one or two. Out of the viewers that saw three types of ads, 81% said the message was clearly communicated and 39% said the ads gave them new information. These numbers were slightly lower for viewers who saw one or two types of ads.
  • The ad mix needs to be just right. Purchase intent rose 13% when combining CTV, linear and mobile ads. However, CTV may be a main driver, since CTV and mobile would increase purchase intent by 11% versus CTV alone, which increased intent by 10%.
  • The order of screens also impacted ad effectiveness. Leading with linear on a cross-platform campaign, for instance, increased purchase intent by 25%, while streaming first resulted in a 14% uptick, and mobile first resulted in 4%. “When possible, brands should plan the order in which ads are delivered across screens with a focus on casting the widest attention net in the first exposure,” said Kara Manatt, evp and managing director of Intelligence Solutions at Magna.
  • People still get ad fatigue. More than 25% of viewers said they had seen “too much” of a brand when they were exposed to multiple ads on linear and CTV. Brands trying to avoid fatigue need to diversify their platforms beyond the big screen.

More in Marketing

As DE&I efforts stall, Pinterest expands Inclusion Fund for underrepresented creators

Despite a national slowdown in diversity efforts, Pinterest is expanding its program to financially support creators from underrepresented communities.

Industry vets’ dos and don’ts of Cannes

Here’s another dose of Cannes reality, with suggested dos and don’ts from those who’ve seen it all before.