Ads Next To Content Unaligned With Brand Values “Seriously Diminishes” Effectiveness

Ads Next To Content Unaligned With Brand Values “Seriously Diminishes” Effectiveness

Running adverts next to content unaligned with your brand’s value or voice, but not necessarily unsafe or unsuitable, can seriously diminish effectiveness, according to a new study.

So-called ‘grey’ content might not be completely unsafe or unsuitable for advertising, but if the content next to your ad looks slightly incongruous, it can have a serious impact on advertising metrics.

More than a third of Aussies feel that brands support the content their ads are adjacent to (36%).

Plus, ads next to questionable content content diminishes brand recall and intent metrics. Consumers had stronger message association adjacent to standard content (+9 pts) versus ads adjacent to questionable content (+6 pts). Persuasion metrics like purchase intent and search intent had major decreases (-9 pts each).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Millennials and Gen Z consumers are the most switched-on to questionable content. Purchase intent decreased by 12 pts for Gen Z and 14 pts for Millennials when the brand ran ads against questionable content compared to standard content.

The study comes from Channel Factory and IPG Mediabrands’ research arm, MAGNA Media Trials. Most concerningly for those in the adtech game, the study also found that blocking whole categories of content was an inefficient approach because of the varying perceptions of consumers of both content and brands.

For example, consumers felt that grey content felt most inappropriate for toy (26 over index) and financial services (11 over index) brands, they also felt that ads were less likely to be perceived as misaligned for the beverage (indexed at 86) and quick service brands (indexed at 78).

“Online video is an incredibly effective advertising channel for brand and performance. But this new research shows that not all video is born equal and savvy marketers need to be taking a broader view of brand safety to include brand suitability to make their budgets work even harder,” said Alex Littlejohn, managing director APAC for Channel Factory.

“Ad effectiveness is front and centre for the industry this year, and younger audiences are especially conscious of the content ads are running next to. Any brand wanting to optimise return on investment needs to be aware of the impact this grey area can have on your business outcomes if you don’t get it right.”

Joshua Lowcock, global chief media officer at UM, added, “Ad environments that fall into grey areas require careful judgment calls be made by brands and their agencies. There isn’t always a one-size fits all solution as misaligned content for one brand could be a smart, under-leveraged opportunity for another. Put differently, what’s right for one brand isn’t always right for another.”

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Channel Factory MAGNA Media Trials

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