New York, NY – April 12, 2021 – Accelerated adoption of e-commerce sales has led to a critical need for brands to shift how they reach and engage with people online. A new study by Verizon Media, MAGNA and IPG Media Lab, “The Interactive Effect,” reveals that interactive ads are an effective way to increase engagement, as they cast a wider audience net by quickly grabbing attention and re-engaging those who have previously rejected the brand. In addition, the study found environment to be key when leveraging interactive ads: legitimacy and site quality can be the difference between people interacting with these ad formats or not.
The study set out to determine the value of interactive native ads compared to standard native video ads and explore what marketers should consider when leveraging these rising ad formats. The study found that hard-to-convince audiences, such as those not immediately in-market for the product, are drawn in by curiosity. On the other hand, interactive ads effectively shape opinions of “quality” and “innovation” among people who have previously rejected the brand.
“Audiences are embracing interactive experiences, and expect the utility to learn more about a brand or message,” said Iván Markman, Verizon Media Chief Business Officer. “The study’s results illustrate consumer appetite for interaction and brands’ ability to deepen engagement, and we expect dynamic, creative, and responsive advertising trends to continue acceleration.”
Specifically, the study examined the effectiveness of Verizon Media Moments formats. Moments is a premium full screen experience that scales across Verizon Media properties and is available via the DSP. A Moments ad is revealed as a user scrolls vertically until the experience fills the screen and supports a variety of immersive features such as clickable touchpoints to learn more about a product, 360 & panoramic views, and carousel.
Additional key findings of the study include:
- People are more likely to interact with ads that feel more familiar to them: The Moments+Carousel format was seen as more familiar to people, leading to higher interaction rates (+60%) compared to the interactive ads average.
- Interactive features should be tailored: Though ads with clickable touchpoints were effective for all, 360 virtual experiences are a good option among those without previous brand experience and might need more product information, while fun games are welcomed most among people who have previously purchased the brand.
- High interaction led to strong persuasion: Moments+Carousel led to a +6% increase in both brand favorability and purchase intent, whereas standard video ads only increased +3%.
- Moments+Video ads drive impact earlier than standard video: Moments+Video surpasses standard video ads in driving purchase intent at 30% completion.
- Interactive ads reign supreme on premium websites: Interactive ads work harder in driving purchase intent on premium sites (+5%) and lead to higher interaction rates (+7%).
“This research shows that engaging, interactive content online has the ability to go beyond connecting with existing customers. Interactive ads peak the curiosity of broader audiences, offering a unique opportunity to engage with previous brand rejectors,” said Kara Manatt, SVP, Intelligence Solutions, MAGNA. “Ultimately, we see interactive ads changing the minds of those brand rejectors – something that’s often very difficult to do.”
The study consisted of a controlled testing of standard and interactive ad formats on sites with varying levels of ad load. Participants were given a survey with demographics and screeners and randomized to be served a test or control ad. Post exposure survey was used to measure traditional brand metrics and qualitative feedback, and interactions were tracked as well.
About Verizon Media:
Verizon Media, a division of Verizon Communications, Inc., houses a trusted media ecosystem of premium brands like Yahoo, TechCrunch and Engadget to help people stay informed and entertained, communicate and transact, while creating new ways for advertisers and media partners to connect. From XR experiences to advertising and content technology, Verizon Media is an incubator of innovation and is revolutionizing the next generation of content creation in a 5G world.
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: https://magnaglobal.wpengine.com/ and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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 www.ipglab.com or follow @ipglab.
Director, Global Corporate Communications