Interactive ads have better engagement, brand recall - studies find

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 13 April 2016
Offering users control over advertising is key to the experience.

Video ads that are interactive, relevant and allow greater user control are more effective than standard pre-rolls, recent studies have found.

In an issue that will be explored in-depth in the next print issue of AdNews, a qualitative study by adtech company Exponential found a correlation between interactivity and uplifts in brand recall and favourability. This has been backed up by quantitative US research carried out by YuMe and Ipsos, which found interactive ads also improved engagement. 

In the Exponential study, 30 people in Australia were exposed to a 2015 Microsoft advertising campaign and asked to provide video feedback when interacting with different video advertising formats.

The study tested Microsoft ads in standard pre-roll against Exponential's VDX interactive pre-roll format (see video below). The results found the interactive ads provide a more comfortable used experience, improving brand recall, brand message and the likelihood of purchase.

"Users get to choose what they look at, for how long they look at it, whether they move through the video and look at galleries and all sorts of things. It replicates an online user experience, and goes hand-in-hand with great creative," says Tyler Greer, Exponential's head of strategy for APAC.

"It has a positive impact on the brand campaign - everything improved from ad recall, understanding of the campaign, ad message, and purchasing decisions. If the user experience is more comfortable and they've elected to move through and explore the brand story, what comes out of that is positive for the brand."

In the YuMe/Ipsos study, 550 smartphone owners who had also viewed online video in a five-week period were polled about their views on interactive ads.

The key findings are that ad experience is strongest for mobile and interactive ads produce higher recall and engagement levels, as seen below.

Mobile is the best user experience for ads

YuMe graphc on device engagement

Ads that are more interactive had higher engagement

YuMe graphic on ad engagement

Recall also improved for more categories

YuMe graphic on interactive ads and engagement

In the next issue of AdNews we take a look at how media consumer behaviours are changing across devices and what it means for advertisers.

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