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New biometric study shows a halo effect for ads

The latest biometric research released by Integral Ad Science (IAS) showed neurological evidence that an ad’s environment has a dramatic impact on how people react to the ad. The research found that ads viewed in high-quality mobile web environments were perceived 74 per cent more favourably than the same advertisements seen in low-quality environments.

The study’s findings put measurable neurological results behind the idea that mobile ad effectiveness directly ties to display environment, putting the age-old debate to rest. The biometric study looked at the brain centre responsible for positive and negative affinity and found that consumers liked ad creative more when seen next to high-quality content and actively disliked ads when they appeared next to lower quality content (as determined by IAS proprietary risk scoring). The study indicated that consumers are three times less willing to associate with brands that run alongside unsavoury content.

Tony Marlow, CMO at IAS said, “This biometric research demonstrates that the quality of an ad’s environment has a dramatic impact on how people react to that ad. People respond to the entire context of an ad impression rather than just a single component of it, and this generates a very strong and positive halo effect for ads that are seen in high-quality environments.”

Advertisers strive to engage with consumers and impact their long-term memory of the brand or what the ad is asking them to do. In addition to ads being perceived more favourably, the IAS biometric research found that high-quality content can generate up to a 20 per cent higher engagement rate and up to a 30 per cent greater memorability among consumers than in low-quality environments.

Stephen Dolan, Managing Director, and APAC commented, “Engaging multicultural, diverse and attention-poor consumers in the right way presents a unique and ongoing challenge to the marketers in APAC and remains the Holy Grail. Our recently commissioned biometric research definitively shows that ads seen in high-quality sites are more likable, more engaging and more likely to be remembered. The context in which ads are seen absolutely affects our clients’ ability to make an impact on consumers.”

Advertisers, publishers, and consumers benefit from a focus on brand suitability by increasing campaign effectiveness and streamlining the overall consumer experience. And in the same vein, truly addressing brand suitability will require a shift from all stakeholders in the industry. Advertisers need to clearly spell out their brand suitability requirements without limiting scale, while publishers should actively work with brands to understand and meet their suitability thresholds.

The study monitored 50 people during a 30-minute mobile experience by Neuro-Insight using Steady State Topography (SST), a proprietary technology that tracks and records brain activity in real-time as participants navigate through a simulated mobile experience.

Participants were shown eight digital display creatives spanning the auto, CPG, financial services, technology, and retail industries on eight mobile web environments that were selected based on IAS Brand Risk assessment (four high quality and four low quality).