Findings from the literature search:
• Strong research evidence supports that more attention to context is likely to transfer to the ad and may improve ad performance. (attention transfer)
• Many studies show that context generates priming or halo effects that can influence ad performance. Alignment and congruence between context and ad can amplify halo effects, improve ad impact, and lessen ad avoidance.
• Alignment can be classified as endemic / thematic, cognitive or emotional. The latter occurs when the emotional appeal of context matches the emotional appeal of the ad and brand.
• More research is needed to assess the ROI of contextually relevant advertising and understand exactly how effects come about.
The new original ARF studies were then introduced:
• Neuro experiments from MediaScience examined the halo and alignment effects of video content on advertising.
• IRI’s digital lift studies evaluated the ROI of contextually relevant digital advertising.
Initial results indicate that:
• Context matters. Emotional and cognitive alignment shows promise. Greater ad-content alignment can bolster sales lift and ROAS in aggregate, but campaign and publisher/network level results show variability that require further exploration.
• Context by itself is not enough. Great creative delivered to the right audience at the right time is critical.
• In terms of the halo effects of digital advertising, the sales lift index for aligned ads provided higher ROI. However, analyzing campaign by campaign showed tremendous variability.
Finally, the presentation notes the ARF will continue to explore this topic.