Thursday, March 21, 2013, 10:06 AM ET|Posted by Will Richmond
Native advertising, which refers to branded content or ad messages that are cohesively integrated directly into web sites, are getting lots of attention these days as an alternative to pre-roll video advertising. A study released by Sharethrough and Nielsen today is putting some brand lift performance numbers behind the debate.
Using Nielsen's Online Brand Effect tool to measure viewer response, the native advertising technology specialist found that five campaigns it studied produced higher brand lift from native advertising exposure than from pre-roll video impressions. In a campaign for the soft drink brand Jarritos, exposure to native ad content elevated favorable brand perceptions by 82%, compared with 2.1% lift among those who saw pre-roll ads. In another for a CPG brand, native ads drove a 42.2% brand lift vs. none for pre-roll ads. (see infographic below)
The difference suggests certain campaign goals, particularly those related to brand perceptions, may get more mileage from native ad content than pre-rolls. Native ads carry a built- in impact advantage because they're choice-based and less intrusive than pre-roll and other video ad formats. In other words, users who willfully click "play" may be pre-disposed in the first place to look on them favorably. That may help to explain why users in the Sharethrough study were more likely to respond negatively to brand surveys after seeing interruptive pre-roll ads rather than native content.
No matter the underlying influences, though, Sharethrough says its findings argue for a careful evaluation of campaign goals and available metrics before advertisers leap to the pre-roll tradition. "In the absence of this key data, millions of dollars can be wasted because advertisers are spending in the wrong places, on the wrong creative executions, and receiving no brand lift," Sharethrough said.
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