Commentary

Get In Their Heads For Successful Ads

With Neurons, inc. using the latest tools and insights from neuroscience to measure, understand and affect human decision making, and TrueImpact noting that 90% of all decisions are driven by feelings, MediaBrix authorized a study to test different ad delivery methods.

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The study tested users' reactions to ads delivered in two different delivery formats but with the same creative from either a global confection brand or MillerCoors. Researchers found that embedded, opt-in ads that rewarded attention, and presented within the context of user's app experiences, yielded eight times more mental engagement; more than three times amount of time spent with the brand, and significantly higher brand recall and positive sentiment than standard interstitial video ads.

The Neuro Lab study demonstrates that an ad delivery approach that identifies emotionally-meaningful moments and allows a brand to add context and value to the user, maximizes a meaningful brand-consumer relationship and higher return on investment, says the report.

Ari Brandt, CEO and co-founder of MediaBrix, says."…We believe mobile is the most powerful advertising medium of our day… this research allows marketers to understand the opportunities that lie in mobile… and the implications of (approaching) consumers there…”

To learn how different methods of delivering an in-app ad to impact a user's receptivity to advertising, thought leaders in neuroscience and neuromarketing had subjects in a controlled environment interact with a mobile app from developer. They used scientific-grade technologies to monitor subjects' interactions, neuro and biometric responses before, during, and after the moment of ad delivery. 

Diana Lucaci, neuromarketing expert and CEO of True Impact, said "…What we've learned about the consumer's state in the moment of being approached by a brand… speaks to how much a mobile ad can either alienate a consumer or inspire brand affinity. The stakes for marketers are huge…”

Dr. Thomas Ramsoy, PhD, CEO, Neurons Inc reported that "…  we looked at the… data, the disparity between two mobile ad executions became glaringly obvious… positive indicators like cognitive load, or engagement, and motivation, the brain's manifestation of wanting, were much stronger in the contextualized, rewarded ad…  whereas arousal, or erratic sentiment in the brain, was much more common for standard interstitial ads."

Overall, the study found that people engage more with mobile video ads that are embedded in the app experience and contextually relevant, compared to a full-page interstitial ad unit. Here are some key findings:

  • Interstitials stimulate negative responses: The full page video interstitial ads triggered fight-or-flight responses at a rate twice that of the embedded opt-in ads, and interstitial ad viewers fixated 22% of time spent looking for the X button
  • People actually watch the embedded, opt-in units: Close to 90% of viewers watched the full 30-second video, compared to only 25% when exposed to an interstitial
  • Embedded, opt-in ad viewers actually pay attention to the brand: Not only do they watch the ad, but they also spend three times as much time fixated on the brand creative and eight times more cognitively engaged watching the embedded, opt-in ad
  • Embedded, opt-in ads help users remember and understand the message: Research found that viewers spend 9.5 times more time understanding/considering the embedded value exchange ad over the interstitial ad unit. Considering/understanding the ad resulted in 70% of viewers remembering the product and 73% understanding the brand offer, as opposed to 40% and 49% respectively of users who experienced interstitial ads
  • Embedded, opt-in ad viewers are more motivated: Those who experienced the contextual ad unit had four times a feeling of motivation according to neurometric measures, and 25% said the ads made them want to keep using the app

Dr. Manuel Garcia-Garcia, senior vice president of the Advertising Research Foundation, concludes that "As the ARF gears up to release its findings… next year… on creative factors and delivery… this research adds substantial data to the existing body of knowledge… (and) exciting to see that the industry thought leaders are taking an aggressive yet thoughtful approach to the mobile channel and how brands can be best served…"

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