Consumers' ongoing adoption of multiple devices has made it harder than ever for advertisers to figure out how to make their spending on video advertising as effective as possible. To help clarify things, yesterday YuMe and IPG Media Lab released a new study yesterday (download here) which shows that while the role of screen size matters, other factors including ad clutter, creative content and context actually matter more in determining ad effectiveness.
In the study, 147 participants were exposed to ads on linear TV, connected TV, PC and mobile devices with ad load and frequency typical of what is found when viewing content on these devices. Four different types of content were shown, depending on participants' interests. Participants' ad recall, excitement and attention were each measured, through a mix of follow-up surveys and biometric tools.
The study found that although ads on linear TV had about the same excitement and attention levels as other screens, they had the lowest rate of unaided ad recall (27%) vs. mobile (35%), connected TV (38%) and PC (43%). One reason cited is that linear TV has the highest ratio of ads to content at 27%, compared to other typical experiences on connected TV (8%), mobile (9%) and PC (12%). As expected, the more ads participants saw, the less able they were to recall any specific one.
Also no surprise, the quality of the ad's creative played a big part in its effectiveness; the more the ad was liked, the better it was recalled. Lastly, context mattered a lot too, not only the more engaging the content was, but also what physical location and position the viewer was in when watching, such as at home in bed or other comfortable spots (in fact, the bed is referred to as now being "the ultimate single-screen environment"). The fewer distractions and less ability to multi-task translated to better ad attention.
Among other things, the study concludes that advertisers should seek out low clutter environments to break through. In particular, connected TVs are highlighted, as they offer the big screen experience, but with the low ad clutter experience of online. However, the question is how long will things stay that way? A study by FreeWheel last month noted that the number of ads in long-form content more doubled from just over 3 in Q1 '11 to almost 8 in Q2 '12.
Though that study indicated a high proportion of viewers are watching through to completion, the new YuMe/IPG study would likely suggest the recall of any individual spot will decline as clutter increases. All of which means that as monetization on connected and mobile devices becomes more aggressive, the advertiser's job is going to get even harder.
(Note: YuMe is a VideoNuze sponsor)