Study Reveals Delivering a Mix in Ad Formats Creates Better Storytelling, Drives Intent to Take Action & Leads to Higher ROI

NEW YORK – July 9, 2020 – Now more than ever advertising budgets are fixed, leaving the bulk of advertisers questioning whether to spend more on a single ad format or spread budget across multiple formats. In a new study by Twitter, MAGNA and IPG Media Lab, “Mixing It Up: Diversifying Ad Formats to Achieve More,” results demonstrate that diversifying ad formats in digital advertising can help marketers better convey their story and create bigger impact on awareness, brand favorability, as well as research and purchase intent. In addition, being thoughtful about the order in which ad formats are delivered can further boost performance.


The main objective of the study was to find out if ad format synergy is real, and if so, explore how advertisers should leverage it to make budgets go further. Research was conducted in two parts: via eye-tracking to test eyes on screen and ad effectiveness to test impact on branding metrics across different ad formats and ad mixes. The ad effectiveness portion included around 4,000 Twitter users for participation on mobile devices across three ad types including Pre-roll (which is known as Amplify at Twitter), traditional Promoted Video, and First View. The test was conducted across six industry verticals and 136 different ad scenarios.


Additional key findings of the study include:


  • A Mix for Better Storytelling: Seeing an ad in a variety of visually different contexts makes the ad stand out more and ultimately tell a more compelling story (holding frequency constant). Using multiple formats leads to 6X the impact on research intent and 2X the impact on purchase intent. In addition, the study found that maximizing the variation in look and feel across ad exposures by breaking up more similar formats leads to lifts in positive brand perceptions like favorability, as well as purchase intent.


  • First Impressions Count: Casting the widest “attention net” with the first exposure maximizes overall campaign impact. Advertisers should aim for the first exposure to be the most attention grabbing, which in this case was the First View ad format that appears at the top of consumers’ content feed. The tactic of using First View as the first exposure is 27% more cost efficient at impacting purchase intent than using another format first.


  • Leverage Unique Strengths: While a mix of ad formats works harder in part because a mix simply offers variation for the consumer, the unique role of each ad format also plays a part. First View generates mass attention, while Pre-roll and Promoted Video work together to drive new consumers and past purchasers through the purchase journey.


  • Pre-roll drives awareness to a broad group of consumers (+8% new product awareness) and leads consumers to learn more (+8% research intent).
  • Promoted Video resonates especially strongly among consumers with a previous relationship with the brand (past purchasers of the brand are +14% more likely to complete Promoted Video), boosts awareness of cultural connections (+18% cultural associations) and fosters positive brand perceptions (+9% Brand is Good Quality).


Stephanie Prager, Twitter’s Head of Global Business Partners, said, “When you’re building a campaign, you’re trying to tell the best, most impactful and most accessible story possible. Our research validates that at its best, storytelling isn’t just about the message; it’s also about the method. We hope this encourages advertisers to continue exploring and experimenting with the different surfaces and formats for their messages that live within digital platforms like Twitter.”


“For a long time, many brands thought it made sense to put a majority of their budget into an ad format that worked for them, but our study’s findings are a major differentiator because it indicates that a mix works better at driving awareness, purchase intent and brand favorability,” said Kara Manatt, SVP, Intelligence Solutions at MAGNA. “Creating this sort of variation in ad experiences doesn’t necessarily require creating a whole host of new assets. In our study, the same exact ad led to better results when presented differently.”


The full study can be found  here.


About Twitter

Twitter, Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) is what’s happening in the world and what people are talking about right now. On Twitter, live comes to life as conversations unfold, showing you all sides of the story. From breaking news and entertainment to sports, politics and everyday interests, when things happen in the world, they happen first on Twitter. Twitter is available in more than 40 languages around the world. The service can be accessed at, on a variety of mobile devices and via SMS. For more information, visit or follow @twitter. For information on how to download the Twitter and Periscope apps, visit and



MAGNA is the centralized IPG Mediabrands resource that provides strategic investment and media intelligence for agency teams and clients. We utilize our insights, forecasts and strategic relationships to provide clients with a competitive marketplace advantage.


MAGNA harnesses the aggregate power of all IPG media investments to develop go-to-market strategies, designing unique partnerships to drive maximum value for our clients. MAGNA has set the industry standard for more than 60 years by predicting the future of media value. We publish more than 40 annual reports on audience trends, media spend and market demand as well as ad effectiveness.


MAGNA infuses the organization with knowledge that empowers better decision-making. We are a team of experts across five key competencies who support IPG cross-functional teams through: Partnership, Enablement, Accountability and Connectivity. Follow us on Twitter @MAGNAGLOBAL.



About IPG Media Lab

Part of the Interpublic network, the IPG Media Lab identifies and researches innovations and trends that will change the media landscape and how brands engage with their audiences. Since 2006, the Lab has worked with our clients and with industry partners who can help them best adapt to disruptive change. Its expertise, resources and consulting services also help to inform the learnings, strategies and business outcomes of all Interpublic agencies. For more information, please visit or follow @ipglab.


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Media Contact:

Zinnia Gill

IPG Mediabrands

Director, Global Corporate Communications

(646) 965-4271

[email protected]