Websites with premium editorial content are the best digital environments for ad visibility and recognition, according to a new study by mobile agency Kargo. Real-world tests found that ads in editorial streams beat those in both social and search in several key metrics for end users.
Kargo partnered with Nielsen to monitor the reactions of 100 smartphone owners to ads across different digital formats. Participants were given ten minutes to consume and experience content on search engines, social sites and premium editorial spaces to ensure that the process resembled a standard viewing session.
To measure the reactions of digital readers, Kargo asked three questions about their exposure to the ads. These centred on how visible the ads were across digital environments, how many ads were seen and how well they were recalled afterwards. Kargo also used tracking to monitor the visibility of ads to the human eye.
The results showed that 96 per cent of ads on mobile were “fully visible” to participants when viewed in an editorial context compared to just 79 per cent on social media feeds. The editorial ads were also “fully visible” for 44 seconds on average, which was way ahead of both search (six seconds) and social (three seconds).
Consumers are also likely to fully see more ads in editorial environments, as 82 per cent were viewable for two or more seconds compared to less than a third in social. Ad recall was also higher for in-stream ads in an editorial context compared to social feeds.
“These premium [editorial] environments prove to deliver not only longer visibility times but also the greatest efficiency when it comes to recall,” Kargo said. “It takes consumers less view time to remember ads delivered in editorial than it does in social or search.”
Finally, the report also noted that the use of ads across digital touchpoints can have an impact on brand perception. Kargo added: “[B]rands that advertise in editorial environments are perceived as reliable, high quality, intelligent and trustworthy. Meanwhile, brands advertising in social are associated with being fun, youthful and cool.”