A new study suggests that a powerful context and meaningful content adjacency increase the effectiveness of advertising campaigns

In terms of product promotions, marketers, and advertisers often focus more on the brand safety factor while determining which content should be adjacent to video ads. However, a recent study by IPG Media Lab, Twitter, and Magna has unveiled some other aspects that have a larger effect on advertisement effectiveness than brand safety.

This recent study conducted by three major firms is named ‘The Influence of Context.’ It demonstrates how the quality of content that is shown adjacent to video ads has an impact on the viewers in terms of context, and how the viewers perceive them. Apart from the high-quality of content, another factor that has a key role to play is the trustworthiness of the content or from the source, it is coming from. They studied the relationship between the various types of content in different environments, like “in-feed,” as in Twitter’s case, and “non-feed” environments as in other platforms like a video aggregator and various publisher sites.

They chose three types of content: 1) Content created by premium publishers, 2) Content created by established and famous content creators, 3) Content created by random, everyday people.

For their study, they ran pre-roll video ads adjacent to all the three above-mentioned types of content, and different environments to see how the viewers react to those ads and how they perceive them. The study involved around 52 clips from nine different content genres and three brands that were shown to around 4776 smartphone users.

Some of the key findings of this study suggest that the type of content adjacent to the pre-roll video ads played a huge role in making the brand’s advertisement perform better than the others. If the content is of high-quality and is generated from a trustworthy source, then the viewers showed a higher rate of purchase intent. The trust factor is more necessary as it caused the purchase intent rate to increase by 12% as compared to the 9% increase due to the higher quality of the content. So, the adjacency of reliable and high-quality content matters a lot!

Another finding of this study sheds light on the fact that if the content is coming from a premium publisher, viewers seem to show more trust towards it. And hence, it has a better impact on the video ads running adjacent to the content being generated from a premium publisher in comparison to what comes from an everyday user.

This is important for brands to focus on. To improve the public response to their video ads, they should choose adjacent content from trustworthy and established sources. The study also suggests that if the brands choose content generating from a mediocre user, it may harm the purpose of ad campaigns as it will not be perceived as trustworthy or relevant by the viewers whom the brands are trying to convert into customers.

Another important finding is that viewers feel less compulsion to watch video ads that run in the ‘in-feed’ environment rather than the ‘non-feed’ environment. In-feed pre-roll ads had a better impact on brand favorability and purchase intent of the participants of the study as compared to the non-feed environment.


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