Context and environment are driving success for video pre-roll ads

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Hilary Pollack, research manager, Twitter

Good storytellers know that context matters. But did you know that applies to your ads as well? We partnered with MAGNA and IPG Media Lab to measure the impact of context, specifically content adjacency and user experience, on ad perception and performance. We wanted to understand if premium publisher content and an in-feed environment, both cornerstones of our Twitter Amplify Pre-roll solution, impacted ad effectiveness.

Here’s what we learned to help marketers spend smarter.

In premium content we trust

When it comes to advertising, trust is essential. And according to our study, when it comes to trust, not all content is created equal.

In the study, we found that premium content is seen as 14% more trustworthy than non-premium content. And trust us when we say trust matters: When controlling for all other variables to understand how individual content perceptions drive brand metrics, we found that high trust in content leads to a 10% increase in brand favorability and a 12% increase in purchase intent. We call this the “premium content halo.”

In-feed, indeed

There’s a second part of the equation that drives the impact of your pre-roll ads, and that’s the environment in which it’s consumed. Our study found that people feel less friction when watching pre-roll ads that appear in an in-feed environment like Twitter compared to non-feed platforms. And the ads themselves feel more relevant, too. In fact, just like trusted premium content, placing your pre-roll in an in-feed environment boosts brand metrics like favorability and purchase intent.

The numbers don’t lie; pre-roll ads in an in-feed environment drive 2.2X brand favorability and 1.6X purchase intent compared to the same pre-roll ads on a non-feed platform.

The best bang for your buck

We know marketers are on the hook for making sure their ad spend goes the distance.

“As digital video ad spend continues to rise, leading to a projected cost of $26.6 billion by 2025, it is crucial for marketers to understand how to enable deeper connections between people and the things that they love and care about,” says Stephanie Prager, Twitter’s head of global business partners.

Our research shows that in-feed pre-roll ads adjacent to premium content, like our Twitter Amplify ad solutions, actually drive cost efficiencies against some of the most important brand metrics.

In fact, our study found that pre-roll on premium content in Twitter’s in-feed environment provides an outsized return on a marketer’s budget: Compared to non-feed pre-roll, in-feed pre-roll was found to be 2.3X more cost-effective in driving favorability and 1.7X more cost-effective in driving purchase intent.

It’s not enough for marketers to simply create good ads; they also need to consider the context in which their ads are consumed. A few key decisions, such as placing your pre-roll in an in-feed environment adjacent to premium content, can make those precious few seconds go a long way for your brand’s bottom line.

The article ‘Study: For video pre-roll, context matters’ first appeared on

●  Magna & Twitter, The Value of Premium, USA, September 2020