Study Reveals Brands Must Move Beyond Basic Demographics & Tap into People Mindset to Create People-Centric Experiences

New York, NY – November 17, 2021 – A new study by MAGNA Media Trials, MAGNA’s industry-leading proprietary research offering, in partnership with GumGum, the leader in contextual intelligence technology, finds that contextual targeting can achieve what other audience targeting solutions can’t: the ability to harness the consumer mindset to drive impact.
The new report, “Mindset Matters: Deconstructing Contextual Video,” found that reaching people when they are in a relevant mindset is the driving force behind advertising effectiveness. The study also found that ads that are delivered within contextually relevant environments are more positive for people and work harder for brands.
Mindset plays the biggest role in driving action. 61% of the impact on Search Intent is driven by an individual being in the mood for the brand’s message. By targeting against contextually relevant content, brands reach equally relevant consumers (e.g. ad for new lipstick placed in content about top make-up trends). Because the ad is relevant to the content people have chosen to watch in that moment, the consumer is in a relevant mindset when viewing the ad.
“While we’ve seen the power of contextual in our research, it was fascinating to finally identify the strongest driver of contextual performance – mindset,” said Kara Manatt, SVP, Intelligence Solutions, MAGNA. “Reaching the right people is always important, but reaching people at the right time, when they are in the right mindset for the message, strongly contributes to impact on brand KPIs, such as brand favorability and purchase intent.”
Mindset and Relevancy Drive Results:

  • When there’s alignment between the ad and the content, search intent is up +7%, brand relevancy is up +6%, and brand is rated as one that knows how to get people’s attention, up +5%.
  • Contextual video targeting drives considerable metrics for brands, with brand favorability up +4%, recommendation intent up +5%, and search intent up +6%. Further, contextual improves ad experiences for people with 10% feeling the ad was relevant to them and 6% finding the ad entertaining.
  • The study found that video content is 47% more effective at reaching the right people at the right time, with 60% of people feeling the ad was something they were open to at the time, and 52% feeling that they were in the mood to view the ad. All brands more effectively reached people in the market for their product category with contextual targeting.

Moving Beyond Metadata:
The study rigorously tested the impact of contextual video targeting and set out to identify any differences between the use of metadata only versus a contextual intelligence engine and targeted across three tiers: demographic targeting, contextual targeting via metadata, and contextual targeting via contextual intelligence engine.
The difference between the two contextual targeting methods is that metadata is defined as videos sourced contextually with metadata only (e.g. video title, video description, tags) while the other is videos sourced with a contextual intelligence engine, which uses a combination of machine learning techniques (computer vision & natural language processing) to analyze video frames, audio, and text. These techniques work together to understand the full nature of video content and classify full-page content like a human would for the analysis of: video metadata, audio transcription, on-screen imagery, and optical character recognition.
“To put it bluntly – most of the contextual technology emerging today is just keyword analysis rebranded, categorized, and focused on targeting rather than avoiding. Sophisticated contextual technology, like GumGum’s Verity, that truly understands all the signals in an environment (text, imagery, video, and audio) can’t be built in a month or even a year. It’s a model that has to be trained continuously over long periods of time in order to get it right,” said Phil Schraeder, Chief Executive Officer, GumGum. “This study proves why the distinction between the two types of contextual technology is important for advertisers to understand. In order to use contextual to drive campaign outcomes the technology needs to be able to understand the actual video not just the words describing it.”

  • Going beyond metadata creates 12% stronger alignment between ad and video content.
  • When gauging ad opinions based on targeting type, contextual targeting via intelligence engine achieved extremely strong results. 75% of people felt the ad was aligned with the content and 56% felt the ad was something they were in the mood for.
  • Video ads are 2.3x more memorable with contextual targeting via intelligence engine in place: +21% unaided brand recall at the first mention when using contextual targeting via intelligence engine.

Precise content alignments demand advanced methods for content identification: While broader contextual categories (beauty) are often ideal to extend reach, sometimes more precise contextual alignments are desired (lipstick). Contextual targeting via intelligence engine trumped targeting via metadata with recommendation intent up +12%, brand favorability up +9%, and brand relevancy up +8%.
The study conducted controlled testing on mobile to participants from a nationally representative panel that were randomized into test and control groups. Each chose video content to view based on their interests, on premium websites and were then served a pre-roll ad. Brands that participated were two leading beauty brands, a real estate company and a mobile phone provider.

The full study can be found here.

About GumGum
GumGum is a global technology and media company specializing in contextual intelligence. For over a decade, we have applied our proven machine learning expertise to extract value from digital content for the advertising and sports industries. Our proprietary contextual intelligence engine uses computer vision and natural language processing technologies to scan text, images and videos when evaluating digital content. Combining our contextual advertising intelligence with proprietary high-impact ad formats, GumGum’s advertising solutions deliver industry leading efficiency, accuracy and performance.
MAGNA is the leading global media investment and intelligence company. Our trusted insights, proprietary trials offerings, industry-leading negotiation and unparalleled consultative solutions deliver an actionable marketplace advantage for our clients and subscribers.
We are a team of experts driven by results, integrity and inquisitiveness. We operate across five key competencies, supporting clients and cross-functional teams through partnership, education, accountability, connectivity and enablement. For more information, please visit our website: and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Media Contact:
Zinnia Gill
Director, Global Corporate Communications
(646) 965-4271
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