Conde Nast's Branded Content More Effective Than Traditional Advertising

A new neuro-science study commissioned by Condé Nast found its branded content was more effective than traditional video advertising on YouTube and Facebook.

“We commissioned this study to find out how our branded content performs against both traditional video ads as well as editorial and [user-generated] content. What we’ve found is that Condé Nast’s custom content creates emotional connections that positively impact brand perception among next generation consumers,” stated Josh Stinchcomb, chief experiences officer at Condé Nast.

Condé Nast teamed up with market research firm Neuro-Insight to monitor 200 people who had either visited one of Condé Nast’s sites or followed one of its brands on social media in the past two weeks.

They were shown fashion, finance, beauty and auto branded content as they watched YouTube videos or scrolled through their personal Facebook accounts.

A proprietary brain-mapping technology, called Steady-State Topography (SST), measured the speed of participants’ responses in various parts of the brain linked to feelings and decisioning while watching Condé Nast’s branded content, Stephanie Fried, who oversaw the study and is Condé Nast’s EVP of research, analytics and audience development, told Publishers Daily.

The technology measured memory encoding and emotional intensity effectiveness. Memory encoding measures activity in the brain responsible for storing memories and exercises for the long term (more than few minutes). Emotional intensity relates to the strength of an emotion experienced, “and helps us understand which elements trigger a strong emotional response,” Fried said.

She said these metrics have been “validated scientifically… as an indicator of purchase.”

The study found that on YouTube, Condé Nast's branded content is 60% more effective for memory encoding than traditional YouTube pre-roll.

On Facebook, Condé Nast custom content was 17% more engaging than Facebook content overall. It was also more effective than brand-promoted content, “creating extremely strong memory impressions for the brands,” according to a statement.

When delivered by Condé Nast brands, the branded content performs 72% higher above brand impact targets.

Going forward, Fried said the findings will help Condé Nast “develop the right content/storytelling for the right brands on the right platforms through the right distribution methods.”

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