What 2021 Taught Us About Premium Digital Advertising

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From superior recall and brand uplift to boosted attention on ads, this year we’ve learned a whole lot about the power of premium. Venessa Hunt, general manager of ThinkPremiumDigital, explains.

In 2021, premium digital has come into its own with a host of studies shedding light on the efficacy of premium environments.

But before we get into that, what is premium digital I hear you ask? Great question.

To be considered premium, advertising environments obviously need to feature premium, professionally produced content. Quality is important, as is meaningful scale. Additionally, premium digital hails from media brands people know and trust, brands that offer safe environments for advertisers.

But more than that, true premium content engages, inspires, and reflects Australian culture.

So now we know what premium digital is. But how do we know it’s more effective than other digital environments?

Well, this year The Benchmark Series, the largest cross-media advertising effectiveness study ever conducted in Australia, found advertising in premium digital media creates superior recall and brand uplift.

In fact, the research found advertising in premium digital channels is more effective than Facebook and run-of-the internet sites such as TechRadar, The Daily Mail, Mamamia and Buzzfeed.

The Benchmark Series included more than 5,350 participants and ran across 252 websites with the aim of understanding how placement in premium digital channels stacks up by measuring key metrics across short- and long-term memory, as well as brand lift.

Here are seven top-line findings:

1. Premium placement outperforms other digital media

Across display and short-form video, premium delivers 2.4 times better recall and 1.6 times the brand lift compared to run-of-the internet.

2. Premium display delivers premium impact

On its own, display advertising drives 3.5 times more recall in premium environments versus run-of-the-internet.

3. Premium video placement is even more effective for light buyers

For the most important category for brand growth, premium placement of display and short-form video delivers three times better recall than run-of-the-internet and 2.8 times the brand lift.

4. Premium short-form video outperforms run-of-the-internet and Facebook

Short-form in premium environments offers 1.8 times better recall and 2.8 times the brand lift than short-form video on run-of-the-internet.

Furthermore, short-form video in premium environments delivers 1.8 times higher recall than Facebook video.

5. Ads in BVOD environments are better remembered than ads in YouTube videos of any length

Compared with any length content on YouTube, advertising in BVOD is 1.3 times better remembered.

6. BVOD advertising delivers stronger recall than Facebook video ads

Ads in BVOD are 4.7 times better remembered than video ads on Facebook.

7. Ads in BVOD are more liked than Facebook, YouTube and run-of-the-internet

The same ad played on BVOD versus YouTube, Facebook and run-of-the-internet sites is better liked with ads in BVOD generating a 15 per cent improvement in likeability over YouTube short-form.

And that’s just the research conducted Down Under!

In the UK, The Ozone Project, an advertising and audience platform owned and operated by news publishers, found premium content boosted attention to display advertising.

The reason for this is threefold: slower scroll speeds – premium content sites have an average scroll speed of 55 pixels versus 79 for social feeds; a lack of clutter with fewer ads in premium sites vying for limited attention, and larger ad formats on premium publishers’ sites which generally grab more attention.

Elsewhere, Mediabrands’ intelligence arm, MAGNA, confirmed the importance of premium context with its study The Proximity Effect.

The research found the content brands sit beside needs to align with the brand’s values. If not, the brand is putting itself at risk and dramatically reducing the impact of its ads.

Misaligned placement resulted in an 8 per cent decrease in purchase intent and a 9 per cent decrease in brand respect. On the flip side, when ads were positioned next to content with matching values, purchase intent increased 9 per cent and brand respect rose by 7 per cent.

Thanks to the availability of robust studies and increased education around the difference of premium digital environments, in 2021, premium has definitely come into its own.

But in 2022, it’s set to take this up another notch, so watch this space!




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