The study was set-up to test pre-roll video ads before various types of content across in-feed and non-feed environments. Content types included premium publisher content, user generated content (UGC) from established creators and UGC from everyday people. Participants were exposed to different combinations of content and ads across three different environments: in-feed on Twitter, non-feed on a video aggregator and non-feed on publisher sites.
Here are the key findings on how different content types and environments drove different results:
- Content adjacency is a powerful driver for brand KPIs. The importance of the environment in which ads appear extends far beyond brand safety alone. Even within brand safe content, content adjacency proves key in driving traditional metrics, such as brand favorability and purchase intent. The study revealed that when pre-roll is placed beside content that is perceived as high quality and highly trustworthy, we see a +12% increase in purchase intent based on trust and a +9% increase in purchase intent based on quality.
- There’s a halo of premium. Consumers have an overall more positive opinion of premium content compared to UGC. Brands whose ads appear in front of premium are rated as more favorable and interesting.
- All UGC is not created equally. There are benefits to appearing next to UGC created by verified content creators such as the ad being perceived as more relevant and trustworthy to the consumer. However, there is a big difference between content created by established creators and the average user. UGC created by the average user can actually stifle ad impact compared to high production UGC.
- The power of choice. In-feed and non-feed environments offer different consumer experiences and therefore, different brand benefits. People felt less forced to watch pre-roll ads that appeared in a feed versus pre-roll in a non-feed environment. Also, in-feed pre-roll ads feel more relevant and have a greater impact on brand favorability (+11% for in-feed and +5% for non-feed) and purchase intent (+10% for in-feed vs. +6% for non-feed) versus the control.
“People often don’t realize just how powerful context is in advertising effectiveness. It’s not just about the platform or device – it’s also about content adjacency”, said Kara Manatt, SVP, Intelligence Solutions at MAGNA. “The importance of the content extends well beyond brand safety alone. Premium in particular can have a powerful brand favorability halo.”
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