Ad format diversification delivers higher returns on investment, survey
As advertising budgets increasingly become fixed with advertisers now torn between whether to spend more on a single ad format or spread budgets across multiple formats, a new study posits that diversifying ad formats in digital advertising can help marketers better convey their story and create bigger impact on awareness, brand favorability, as well as research and purchase intent.
Dubbed, “Mixing It Up: Diversifying Ad Formats to Achieve More,” the report by Twitter, MAGNA and IPG Media Lab further demonstrates that being thoughtful about the order in which ad formats are delivered can further boost performance.
The study sought to find out if ad format synergy is real, and if so, explore how advertisers should leverage it to make budgets go further. Research was conducted in two parts: through eye-tracking to test eyes on screen and ad effectiveness to test impact on branding metrics across different ad formats and ad mixes.
The ad effectiveness portion included around 4,000 Twitter users for participation on mobile devices across three ad types including Pre-roll, which is known as Amplify at Twitter, traditional Promoted Video, and First View. The test was conducted across six industry verticals and 136 different ad scenarios.
The study further revealed that:
Seeing an ad in a variety of visually different contexts makes the ad stand out more and ultimately tell a more compelling story (holding frequency constant). Using multiple formats leads to 6X the impact on research intent and 2X the impact on purchase intent. In addition, the study found that maximizing the variation in look and feel across ad exposures by breaking up more similar formats leads to lifts in positive brand perceptions like favorability, as well as purchase intent.
Casting the widest “attention net” with the first exposure maximizes overall campaign impact. Advertisers should aim for the first exposure to be the most attention grabbing, which in this case was the First View ad format that appears at the top of consumers’ content feed. The tactic of using First View as the first exposure is 27% more cost efficient at impacting purchase intent than using another format first.
While a mix of ad formats works harder in part because a mix simply offers variation for the consumer, the unique role of each ad format also plays a part. First View generates mass attention, while Pre-roll and Promoted Video work together to drive new consumers and past purchasers through the purchase journey.
Pre-roll drives awareness to a broad group of consumers, over eight per cent new product awareness, and leads consumers to learn more, over eight research intent.
Promoted Video resonates especially strongly among consumers with a previous relationship with the brand, boosts awareness of cultural connections and fosters positive brand perceptions.
Stephanie Prager, Head of Global Business Partners, Twitter: “When you’re building a campaign, you’re trying to tell the best, most impactful and most accessible story possible. Our research validates that at its best, storytelling isn’t just about the message; it’s also about the method. We hope this encourages advertisers to continue exploring and experimenting with the different surfaces and formats for their messages that live within digital platforms like Twitter.”
Kara Manatt, SVP, Intelligence Solutions, MAGNA: “For a long time, many brands thought it made sense to put a majority of their budget into an ad format that worked for them, but our study’s findings are a major differentiator because it indicates that a mix works better at driving awareness, purchase intent and brand favorability. Creating this sort of variation in ad experiences doesn’t necessarily require creating a whole host of new assets. In our study, the same exact ad led to better results when presented differently.”
The full study can be accessed here