In a programmatic media world, it’s easy to lose sight of context as advertisers chase audiences wherever they are. But heightened brand-safety fears among advertisers, triggered by ad fraud and other bad practices highlighted throughout the year, are slowly but surely swinging the pendulum away from reach-driven, audience-only targeting, toward valuing the context of the environments.
Here’s a look at the current attitude of consumers toward advertising in quality environments, in four charts.
Beacon of hope for premium publishers
A recent report from video ad vendor InSkin Media showed that people were far more likely to view ads favorably when they could see the publisher’s own branding on the site. A total 4,370 people in the U.K. were shown premium sites with the publisher’s branding visible and the same sites with the publisher logo stripped off. The results: Ads on the branded sites increased consideration for the advertiser by 60 percent compared to the ads on the site without publisher branding.
Among readers who were regular visitors to a publisher site, consideration for the advertiser was 152 percent higher than among those who saw the ads on the site without publisher branding.
“The relationship a publisher has with a visitor can have a catalytic effect in terms of boosting the effectiveness of the ads it carries,” said Steve Doyle, Inskin Media’s chief commercial officer. “It shows that if online publishers pay more consideration to the reader experience, the ads will be more effective, so they can optimize yield while carrying more selective types of advertising.”
Ads in premium environments are more memorable
Video ad platform studied brain patters to understand the impact of quality publishing environments. It found editorial that runs on premium publisher sites had a 19 percent greater impact on people’s memory than on social media platforms.
For the emotional side of the brain, premium editorial had an 8 percent greater impact on memory. In contrast, content in social feeds were found to have less impact on memory than on premium publisher sites. Premium editorial triggers both sides of the brain, allowing a broad range of video advertising creative to be effective within premium editorial, according to the report.
Brand safety is more complex than expected
Inskin Media’s report showed there is no systematic pattern to suggest that editorial content impacts an ad, whether the article is positive or negative. Tests run in its report showed that a food ad running next to an article about obesity, for example, didn’t affect brand metrics at all. Also, in isolated cases, a story that was both positive and had a similar theme to the ad could still elicit a negative brand association.
“We know brand safety is a PR issue, but what effect does it actually have on how readers actually perceive the brand and act on it?” Doyle said. “Without a doubt, more research in this area is required to help marketers devise meaningful and effective brand-safety policies, as the area is still a relative unknown.”
User attention as important as context
Naturally, the longer a person spends viewing an ad, the more likely they are to make a purchase off the back of it. A study from marketing and advertising research firm Lumen showed that there is a direct correlation between the time a user spends viewing an ad and the number of subsequent conversions. Ads that were viewed between 2.5 and 3 minutes received the highest conversions per thousand impressions, according to the study.