Media Trials are scientifically rigorous experiments that use next-gen research technology to quantify the effectiveness of new products and strategies.

The objective of our Media Trials program is to impartially prove the effectiveness of your unique ad products and/or media vehicles and to provide wide-scale marketing and PR for visibility.

Media Trials from the past year are available for download below.

July 21, 2021

Delivering Ad Experiences People Want

A study by MAGNA and privacy browser Brave, “Delivering Ad Experiences People Want: Challenging the ‘Status Quo’ Ad Value Exchange,” explored how people really feel about the “status quo” ad value exchange, where people receive free content in exchange for being served ads, along with traditional ad tracking. The study found that most people (80%) feel the trade-off is a one-way street.

Peak Openness

June 7, 2021

Peak Openness – Canada

It’s clear that digital audio consumption is on the rise. While traditional radio has recently declined, other forms of audio, such as podcast listening, and streaming audio have increased since March 2020. This study revealed the growth of digital audio was accelerated in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a majority of people reporting screen fatigue, and many citing this fatigue as the primary reason why they’re listening to more digital audio. This report, in partnership with Spotify, looks at trends in Canada.

Digital Audio Expansiveness

June 4, 2021

Digital Audio Expansiveness

Spotify and MAGNA released a study, “Digital Audio Expansiveness: Growing Landscape & Opportunities,” showing how closely podcast listening mirrors television viewing habits in the US. The growth of digital audio was accelerated in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic with a majority of people (72 percent) reporting screen fatigue and 42 percent citing this as the primary factor in listening to more digital audio content.

Peak Openness UK

June 4, 2021

Peak Openness – UK

Spotify and MAGNA, IPG’s global media investment and intelligence company, released a study showcasing how closely podcast listening mirrors television viewing habits. The UK study showed that the growth of digital audio was accelerated in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic and also found that the multi-tasking, friendly nature of digital audio leads to greater openness, attention and ad interaction.

Deconstructing Diversity Today

May 19, 2021

Deconstructing Diversity Today

MAGNA, NBCUniversal and Identity conducted a study to learn more about diversity, beyond traditional paradigms. To truly connect with people on a cultural level, we need to understand identity and diversity among a broader audience. We also wanted to understand what role, if any, brands should play in culture.

Digital Inclusion

April 26, 2021

Digital Inclusion

People with disabilities represent 15 percent of the global population, with the collective buying power of $8 trillion. These audiences regularly consume all types of content, but are they able to fully access that content comfortably? MAGNA partnered with Current Global on a new media trial, “Digital Accessibility: The Necessity of Inclusion,” to find out.

The Interactive Effect

April 12, 2021

The Interactive Effect

Since March 2020, the ways in which consumers engage with brands has changed dramatically, including the rise of e-commerce sales. This underscores a critical need for brands to also evolve the way they engage with consumers. A new media trial by MAGNA and Verizon Media, “The Interactive Effect,” set out to determine the value of interactive ads as a possible solution and explore what marketers should consider when leveraging them.

Ins and Outs of Ad Sentiment

March 24, 2021

The Ins & Outs of Ad Sentiment

This media trial, in partnership with Mediahub, explores how U.S. consumers feel about online video ads, based on a sample of 1,300 internet users. The study measures the contribution of the various factors affecting consumer perception and acceptance of online video campaigns – including content, format, ad load and targeting – and identifies key steps to improving their experience.

The Accelerated Purchase Journey

March 12, 2021

The Accelerated Purchase Journey

This study reveals that serving the right creative at the right time based on the purchase journey for a given product can more efficiently guide consumers through to purchase. After three ad exposures with creative optimized to where individuals are in the purchase journey, 14% of people were closer to purchase, speeding up the process. Meanwhile, without optimization, where the same ads were delivered at random, there was no progression through the purchase journey at all.

Ad Sequencing

January 27, 2021

Ad Sequencing

Advertisers have been creating multiple video ad lengths since the pre-digital days but have been particularly innovative in the last several years with newer, shorter ad lengths, from :06 second ads to :03 second ads. We also now have the technology to deliver those ads in a desired sequence. But what is the best sequence? Should short ads be used as a primer before longer ads? Or, maybe a reminder after longer ads? The media trials team conducted rigorous testing in the US and in Australia to uncover what works best.

The Influence of Context

December 14, 2020

The Influence of Context

With $19 billion in expected digital video spend next year, the media trials team partnered with Twitter to uncover the role of context in video ad effectiveness. The research focused on the impact of the content appearing prior to pre-roll video ads, including premium, broadcast quality content and multiple types of user-generated content. In addition, the unique user experiences offered by both in-feed and non-feed video environments were explored.

Does Every Second Count?

December 10, 2020

Does Every Second Count?

In the early days of video ad lengths, it was generally known that short video ads were effective at generating awareness, but less so when it came to persuasiveness. A new study by MAGNA, IPG Media Lab and Snapchat, “Does Every Second Count? Planning Ad Lengths Across Platforms,” revealed that these “truths” about the effectiveness of video ad length performance are no longer accurate.

pursuit of relevance

October 13, 2020

Pursuit of Relevance

As the world has continued to innovate, we have found that ad personalization is one of the more effective tools out there to help brands deliver more relevant ad experiences. In a new robust study by MAGNA and IPG Media Lab, “Pursuit of Relevance: All About Ad Personalization,” the effectiveness of personalized ads on brand KPIs was quantified, revealing that brands can forge stronger, more relevant connections with people through personalized messaging. Ultimately, the same pre-roll video ad can drive +5% higher purchase intent with the use of more relevant, personalized messaging.

Valuing the Value Exchange

September 10, 2020

Valuing the Value Exchange

While we all know that streaming is up, over half of streamers report not knowing what to stream. This need for content discovery isn’t unique to a demographic; it’s universal. Magna, IPG Media Lab and Roku partnered to explore what happens when brands offer experiences that help solve this problem by sponsoring content discovery. Consumer opinions on the value exchange being offered were evaluated, as well as live, in-market testing of brand experiences versus OTT video ads.

The Anatomy of a Video Experience - A multicultural story

September 8, 2020

The Anatomy of a Video Experience

In this trial by MAGNA, IPG Media Lab, Identity and VEVO, research was conducted to explore how audiences consumed content across multiple devices, their motivations around viewing habits and the influence of culturally relevant content on video engagement and ad receptivity. The study further revealed other significant findings around the nuances of multicultural audiences’ video viewing behavior.

Mixing It Up - Diversifying Ad Formats

July 9, 2020

Diversifying Ad Formats

Now more than ever, advertising budgets are fixed, leaving advertisers with questions on whether they should spend more on a single ad format or spread budget across multiple formats. In a new media trial by MAGNA, IPG Media Lab and Twitter, both eye-tracking and ad effectiveness research was conducted to determine if ad format synergy is real, and if so, to explore how advertisers should leverage it to make budgets go further. Robust testing was conducted across six industry verticals and 136 different ad scenarios.

Dissecting Opportunity to See - Digital Presence

May 11, 2020

Digital Presence

Thus far, the advertising industry has primarily focused on only one of the factors that determines opportunity to see digital ads: whether the ad appears on the screen. What is often not discussed is the other factor that offers a non-fraudulent digital ad an opportunity to be seen: a person present when the ad is on screen. To date, human presence has often been overlooked by the industry because it is difficult to measure and because ads are served to personal devices like mobile phones. Thus, it is presumed that someone is present when a digital ad is on screen. While it seems logical, no one has actually tested this conjecture until now.

from cookies to people

April 6, 2020

HVAS – From Cookies to People

With the emergence of big data and people-based IDs, advertisers have been shifting to a new, more precise deployment strategy: High Value Audiences (HVAs). The method relies on the identification of specific personas that are deemed as having more lifetime value than people reached through broader, more traditional methods. The segments are created from a large data set with audience behavior tracked at the consumer level. While traditional methods, such as demographic and contextual, have allowed us to reach larger audiences, this new approach allows for precision where cookies can’t.

The Anatomy of a Video Experience

March 16, 2020

The Anatomy of a Video Experience

The average U.S. home owns over 10 connected devices, making planning across video devices challenging to say the least. In order to better understand how people select and use their devices to watch video, the media trials team partnered with Vevo to conduct research. The media trial uncovers the when, why, and how consumers watch video by tracking the average video experience from inception (e.g. needs state, mood) to consumption (e.g. content genre, session length) on OTT, Linear TV, PC, and mobile devices.

Solving Brand Suitability

October 22, 2019

Solving Brand Suitability

The media trials team partnered with Zefr to test the effectiveness of human-supervised machine learning, or “human in the loop,” aimed at identifying the most brand suitable content compared to traditional targeting methods, such as demographic, channel, and keyword targeting on YouTube. The media trial also explored traditional concepts of “high quality” content, machine learning’s ability to identify it, and the benefits of aligning ads with it.

Consumer take on data and ad personalization

October 4, 2019

The Consumer Take on Data + Ad Personalization

Several years ago, the media trials team examined the benefits of ad personalization. Given the rapidly changing landscape and the forthcoming CCPA, the team partnered with Verizon to revisit the topic for a fresh look at the consumer POV on data privacy and ad personalization.

Ad Receptivity, Deconstructed

June 4, 2019

Ad Receptivity, Deconstructed

The media trials team, in collaboration with Pandora, conducted research to get back to what matters most – the consumer – to determine key moments throughout the day when they are most receptive and attentive to digital audio and video ads.

The impact of culture

May 17, 2019

The Impact of Culture

Traditionally, brand messaging has been brand-centric, relying heavily on the company’s defining attributes and benefits. While creating a voice of your own is still important – more brands have started seeing value in establishing a deeper connection with consumers, by focusing on what’s important to them culturally. The Media Trials team partnered with Twitter to conduct research focused on the consumer perspective on brand involvement with culture and the benefits of being a culturally relevant brand today.

The Sentiment-Driven Consumer Journey

January 31, 2019

the Sentiment-Driven Consumer Journey

The media trials team conducted research to determine if sentiment-based optimization could do a better job at driving brand KPIs. In the study, one group of consumers received a series of video ads optimized based on sentiment – specifically each viewer’s level of interest in the first video ad – gathered via a poll served immediately after the advertisement. The second group received a series of videos that were served based on exposure only.

Reaching the Un-reachable

January 23, 2019

Reaching the “Un-Reachable”

There are many assumptions about the shift to digital video that, while they may be grounded in some truth, are not fully accurate today. The media trials team conducted some research to explore common beliefs about the movement away from linear TV to separate the truth from the misconceptions.

Engaging the Mind

January 3, 2019

Engaging the Mind

As linear TV (LTV) ratings decline, consumers are transitioning to connected TV (CTV) for shorter viewing periods and on-demand content. This transition opens up an opportunity to study the differences not only in ad effectiveness on these platforms, but also how consumers engage with them. To understand viewers’ responses to CTV and LTV ads, MAGNA and the IPG Media Lab performed biometric measurements on users in a true-to-life TV viewing environment.
The Power of Camera Advertising

October 25, 2018

The Power of Camera Advertising

For today’s consumer, the camera has become an essential communication tool and the go-to way to stay in-the-moment. The evolution of the camera has opened up new opportunities for marketers with new ad formats, such as sponsored lenses. However, there hasn’t been adequate research available to understand the effectiveness of these sponsorships. To understand the impact of ads designed for the camera, MAGNA and the IPG Media Lab teamed up with Snapchat to explore consumers’ emotional and cognitive responses to sponsored lenses and traditional pre-roll ads.

The Brand Safety Effect

October 25, 2018

The Brand Safety Effect

In the wake of a number of recent brand safety issues in the digital advertising marketplace, the media trials team partnered with autonomous brand safety company CHEQ to conduct in-depth research on the topic. The media trial examined the how unsafe content impacts consumer perceptions. The research went beyond generally negative content (e.g. violence) and also explored brand and vertical averse content (e.g. a soda ad next to content about diabetes).

The humans vs. the machines

September 20, 2018

The Humans vs. The Machines

The process in which marketers identify and reach the ideal demographic for their product has remained fairly static over time. Historically, primary research is conducted, followed by a media buy that is deployed against that demographic. However, the latest advancements in technology, specifically machine learning, are opening up the possibilities for optimization beyond what humans can achieve on their own.

The age of the creator

July 12, 2018

The Age of the Creator

As we all know, social networks are often the go-to medium for advertising spend these days, but the way advertisers are allocating their social media budgets is shifting. Creator marketing is gaining ground and becoming more mainstream. To understand the Creator landscape, MAGNA teamed up with Twitter to explore sponsored content from both the Creator + consumer perspective.

content targeting

May 7, 2018

Content Targeting

Commissioned in response to advertisers’ mounting concerns around data, safety, and privacy on YouTube, MAGNA’s latest media trial, conducted in partnership with Zefr, captured the reactions of over 3,000 consumers as they were exposed to the same advertisements delivered via three popular methods: content targeting, demo targeting, and channel targeting.

Battle of the Mobile Ad Formats

May 7, 2018

Battle of the Mobile Ad Formats

With many consumers now spending more time with their smartphones than they do watching television, it has become a critical touchpoint for their media experiences and marketers continue to shift a substantial portion of their advertising dollars there to account for that. This makes understanding which ad formats resonate most with consumers critical to any communications plan. To achieve that goal, MAGNA and the IPG Media Lab undertook a study dubbed Battle of the Mobile Ad Formats, in which a wide array of criteria were tested.

Under the Hood of Over-the-Top Measurement

April 25, 2018

Under the Hood of Over-the-Top Measurement

Despite big budgets and high viewership on TV, measurement of brand KPIs is still evolving. The challenge with existing brand lift methods is that they often rely on opportunity-to-see (OTS), which is a survey-based method for determining the likelihood that someone saw a particular ad, with no evidence that they actually saw it. In order to push the industry forward on measurement, the media trials team partnered with Roku to use their ACR (automatic content recognition) to identify exact programs and ads viewers have used and when they viewed them.

The 360 Effect

March 12, 2018

The 360 Effect

With the rise of 360 video technology, advertisers have the opportunity to create fully immersive videos that promote brands far beyond what a traditional non-360 video can achieve. To help advertisers understand the potential value of this new technology, MAGNA partnered with YuMe to put 360 video ads to the test.

The total market fallacy

March 1, 2018

The Total Market Fallacy

The total market strategy, which is a “one and done” generic creative approach aimed at both mainstream and multi-cultural audiences, is commonly used by marketers. Naturally, this approach can be easier to execute than a more customized strategy for the Hispanic market, but the question is: is it better?

In-language and in-culture

February 9, 2018

Culture in Context

With Hispanic spending projected to grow 85% over the next 10 years and reach $1.7 trillion by 2019, it’s crucial for marketers to understand how they can forge stronger relationships with this increasingly powerful demographic. In order to better understand how advertisers can achieve this, MAGNA’s media trials team conducted research across mobile and desktop devices, focused on how three pillars of Hispanic targeting – topic, language, and culture – impact the connections between consumers and brands.

Pulling back the curtain: viewability and direct response

October 30, 2017

Viewability and Direct Response

As a follow-up to the research initiative “Putting Science Behind the Standards,” MAGNA and the IPG Lab are releasing new findings focused on direct response campaigns. The report uncovers the impact of viewability on digital conversions, how the MRC standard compares with alternatives, and how direct response focused advertisers should approach viewability when making buying and measurement decisions.

the interactive effect

October 3, 2017

The Interactive Effect

Given more and more consumers have an expectation that screens can be interacted with, the media trials team partnered with Tremor to explore if and how this technology should be applied to ads. While there is some existing data on the performance of interactive ads, nothing to date has delved this deeply into how and why interactive ads work.

Ad format revolution

April 14, 2017

Ad Format (R)evolution

Much of our past video research has been conducted on pre-roll, but we now have more video ad format options than ever. Viewability and inventory issues have also led to new tactics, such as outstream or in-read video.In order to provide our clients with scientific evidence on how each format should be leveraged, we partnered with YuMe on a new media trial.

Turbo charging your trueview campaign

February 10, 2017

Turbocharging Your TrueView Campaign

Google is one of our key video partners, and there are significant changes on the way for the YouTube line-up. These include the recent news of ramping down 30 second non-skippable ads and ramping up new ad products, such as the 6 second non-skippable ad. Given these changes, the media trials team recently conducted research that explores skipping behaviors and focuses on ways advertisers can make the most of their TrueView campaigns. The research included 11 brands and 108 test scenarios across both PC and Mobile.

ads you can feel

January 22, 2017

Ads You Can Feel

This media trial explores the inclusion of haptics–or touch effects–in mobile video advertising. Our goal was to determine if creating a more visceral mobile experience that goes beyond sight, sound, and motion to include touch would impact the effectiveness of mobile video ads. Click on “Summary” below to see an infographic with key stats.

magna hulu cross platform study

November 2, 2016

MAGNA-Hulu Cross-Platform Study

Summarizes the findings from a cross platform video study performed with Hulu that provided insights on the role of OTT in a campaign

beyond completion rates: how social video works

August 19, 2016

Beyond Completion Rates: How Social Video Works

The unique environment of social feeds, where content is personal and self-curated, has an impact on how video ads are perceived. This report examines key insights for video ads such as ad relevance, ad recall lift (memorability) and subtitles.

viewability: science and standards

May 4, 2016

Viewability: Science & Standards

The concept of when an ad should be counted as viewable, what effects various levels of viewability have on users, and how to pay for these varying levels has been hotly debated. Integral Ad Science Q3 2015 report found that only 43% of ads are currently considered viewable according to the Media Ratings Council (MRC) viewability standards and, to date, these viewability levels have not been scientifically correlated with actual ad effectiveness measures. The IPG Media Lab partnered with Integral Ad Science and Cadreon to conduct a large scale scientific research study, meant to quantify the relationship between viewability and brand metrics.