A new study by Ace Metrix done for BuzzFeed, is another endorsement for native advertising. Like Sally Field at the Oscars, this study verily shouts for long form native, “You like me! You really like me.”
I’m stretching a bit. But nary a negative word seems to find its way into this study, though others may not be as pumped up. Ace research concludes native video performs as well as TV ads, or slightly better; makes stronger emotional connections and that native ads are favorites of “super sharers” on social media. In short, native and TV ads are a good fit together.
“Capitalizing on the Content Era: Leveraging Native Video to Drive Brand Equity,” is based on analysis of 79 long-form native videos created by BuzzFeed, Funny or Die, Mashable, College Humor, Vice, Refinery29 and Maker Studio. “Long-form” in a medium of short stuff ranges from 90 seconds to five minutes. The study was conducted in the fourth quarter last year; 500 test subjects, with an emphasis on 16 to 35 year olds, were studied for their reactions to ads from all the participating Websites.
Alistair Sutcliffe, senior vice president for client analytics at Ace says the most important strokes in this study shows the comparison between native advertising and TV commercials. In almost every measurable way, long form is right there with TV, but leaps ahead measuring attention-grabbing. And, this study says, “Brand considerers” were “more likely to change their perceptions of the brand” via native advertising than TV ads
“That ‘attention’ finding is important, especially in today’s environment when people are in the habit of avoidig ads,” Sutcliffe said. Going into the study, he said, he guessed native wouldn’t hold attention if only because the messages are longer.
That’s what I would think; if you can’t stand commercials, it would figure you really couldn’t stand even longer commercials. And that probably would be true if native ads were flat out commercials. Ace ascribes “personality” traits to commercials; native are heavy in “breakthrough” attributes like attention and likeability. TV ads seems to work better conveying information, desire and calls for change. You could see how that tag team would work together.
Native also is more likely to elicit a strong emotional connection than TV ads in three “sentiment categories” that are defined “hook, heart and humor.”. Ace measures that through what it calls a natural language processing model that notes words and phrases that pop up in conversations about ads.
Most of all, native works best tickling the funny bone. “Humor is extremely effective, whether it’s a native ad for a pizza or a hotel,” Sutcliffe said.
But generally, native ads that have good story arcs are easily shareable. Sutcliffe says, “They align perfectly with social media.”