ARF Attention Measurement Validation Initiative: Phase 2 Report


Explore the latest findings from the ARF Attention Measurement Validation Initiative. The phase two report is a comprehensive examination of various attention measurement methods used in creative testing. It concludes with reflections on the challenges of attention measurement, as well as some suggestions for advertisers on how to choose and evaluate attention measurement providers.

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Demystifying Data Privacy: Understanding the Cookieless Future


On May 9th, the ARF Young Pros hosted an event focused on data privacy and the implications of a cookieless future. Cole Strain from Samba TV started the event with an overview of data privacy fundamentals and the impending changes due to the deprecation of cookies. This was followed by a panel discussion featuring experts from Snapchat, Comscore, and Google, moderated by one of our Young Pros Advisory Board Members, Gillian Kenah from Tracksuit.

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Generative AI Can Make Ad Creative Better Than Humans Alone

Have we reached the John Henry moment in ad creative where the machine can outperform a human in creating visuals for ads? Not quite. Generative AI does have a place in creative, however. This Marketing Science Institute (MSI) working paper found that GenAI when trained on ads which were rated the most effective by consumers can create ad visuals and text that outperform the originals in KPIs related to the purchase funnel and brand associations. Yet, the human element has not been cut out just yet. In fact, it might be pivotal to the process. The human AI combo saved time and effort and created pleasing visuals while maintaining a brand’s distinctive positioning.

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The Benefits of Understanding Consumers’ Values

Research has demonstrated that developing messages, creative and targeting based only on demographic characteristics is not optimal. Investing in research on consumers’ values and emotions is likely to increase marketing effectiveness.     Read more »

Emotional Drivers of Long-Term Effectiveness of YouTube Ads

Manuel Garcia-Garcia, Ph.D.Global Lead of Neuroscience, Ipsos

Ariane PolGlobal Head of Research for Creative Works, Google

Geraldine RodriguezClient Manager Applied Research, Ipsos

Can YouTube help drive long-term brand building? How do you measure long-term brand building? When brands want to air strategic long-term campaigns, they typically revert to traditional media. Most people are not in need of a brand’s immediate offering, but they represent the biggest sales opportunity. Ten years ago, the IPA demonstrated that campaigns whose primary focus was emotional were the most effective. Emotions are the fuel that allow high conversion over time. Brands should tap into emotions of consumers that may not be interested in a product now but may be relevant in the future. Ipsos partnered with Google Creative Works to study the observed and declared behaviors. Methodology: A triangulation of methods were used. They were Creative/Spark (market validated KPIs of creative impact); Ipsos Bayesian Nets (models the impact of emotion); Ipsos Emotion Framework (captures emotional responses). Ipsos Emotion Framework defines emotions as physiological changes we experience in response to the environment. These are complex emotions that are heavily driven by culture and context, and they are therefore, not universal. This complicates measuring emotions. While emotions are not universal, we can explain emotions based on valence, arousal and control. This maintains the cultural authenticity but can be compared across cultures. The experimental approach to measuring long-term brand growth included a brand relationship index (BRI), comprised of brand performance = how would you rate [brand] in terms of what you are looking for in a [category] + brand closeness = how close do you feel to [brand]? Findings:
  1. Valence alone explains 28% of variance of long-term brand sales growth for YouTube videos. Highly pleasant residual emotions on YouTube ads have predictive power over long-term brand growth. This works for both YouTube ad formats (skippable and forced).
  2. Highly pleasant YouTube ads make people willing to pay more, reducing price sensitivity.
  3. The highly pleasant emotions that correlated with valence were warmth, happiness, calmness, love, nostalgia and excitement.
  4. Empathy and surprise become important predictors of the brand relationship change index in the long term.
  5. To analyze how respondents group emotions when reporting how ads make them feel, a sophisticated analytic technique based on Bayesian network was applied. This method shows that ads can awaken different emotions, not just one emotional note. Empathy and surprise are more neutral by nature, and this can lead to either positive or negative emotions. They can be bridge emotions between negative and positive emotions.
Key takeaways:
  • Digital media like YouTube can be a prime brand building vehicle, not only for short-term tactical business objectives.
  • Highly pleasant emotions account for 28% of long-term brand growth. Brands should leverage this knowledge to create powerful, emotional storytelling to get closer to current and prospective clients.
  • Positive emotional storytelling supercharges performance. It makes people more willing to pay more for a brand.
  • Emotional storytelling doesn’t mean focusing on one single tone—brands can experiment with several emotions to create powerful and emotionally stirring narratives.

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Determining the Value of Emotional Engagement to TV

Pedro AlmeidaCEO, MediaProbe

Context matters—not all reach is equal, and so, we need a way to qualify each impression and valuate each of these impressions. Metric of valuation needs to be valid, reliable and have predictive power for business outcomes. The research focus: 1) What can we say about the value of emotional engagement (EE)? 2) Can we model the value of EE via its impact on memory? 3) Can we use EE to optimize and valuate content and ad positions? How? Methodology: MediaProbe used Galvanic Skin Response with participants who were exposed to content through a MediaProbe panel (U.S., 2,700 households). Data gets delivered second by second and data extracted goes toward creating an impact measure of how much people are reacting to what they are watching. The platform calculates an impact value that enables comparisons across media platforms. There was an added layer to see whether participants are leaning into the content and are engaged. U.S. TV dataset includes over 45,000 participants, reaching over 85,000 hours. More than 1,000 TV hours are monitored and over 42,500 ads. Using a subset of 16,351 ads and 329 “premium pod” formats, participants watch content and are then asked which ads they remember. Findings:
  1. Enhancing the emotional impact of an ad in 150 EIS points equates to adding a second 30’ ad unit. This will increase probability of brand recall by 15%. For each 100 points, this increases probability of brand recall by 10%.
  2. Single best predictor of whether someone will respond to an ad is how much a person was engaged with the content prior to the ad. EE carries over to the ad break. It’s more engaging pre-break, in earlier breaks and earlier position in break, which leads to higher ad impact.
  3. However, this is different across genres. Genre moderates pre-break emotional patterns. This is further differentiated within genres. For instance, people will react differently to ad breaks when watching soccer vs. some other sport. MediaProbe shows that there is 66% similarity between various award shows in terms of EE to ad breaks. They use this data to realize the value of different ads placed in different breaks (1st, 2nd, etc. break) and pods. Emotional engagement helps better predict ads performance.
  4. Additional findings show that first-in-break still rules and that premium pods deliver higher recall.
Key takeaways:
  • Ad EIS is systematically associated with ad recall.
  • It is possible to optimize ads for estimated impact by advertising in the most engaging content and being present after the most engaging moments.
  • Different genres tend to have typical pre-break engagement morphologies. This allows to estimate the delivered value of each pod position (and order in break when relevant).

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Aligning with Rituals: The Contextual Foundation of Audio

Prayushi AminAssociate Director, Magna Global

Idil CakimSVP, Research & Insights, Audacy

Audio is a daily ritual at the heart of the day. With the richness of audio experiences, should brands strive for contextual alignment? But what is contextual alignment? There are two types: Genre based—aligning with audio content genre that is contextually relevant to the brand; Ritual based—aligning with audio ritual/behavior that is contextually relevant to the brand. Methodology: a controlled test to quantify the impact of genre and ritual-based contextual alignment; recruitment of weekly audio listeners from a representative online panel, listening to content that they chose for roughly 30 mins. Listeners then answered brand metric questions to determine ad effectiveness. Findings:
  1. Ads in context perform better. The brands feel more relevant.
  2. Audio with Rituals in context taps into purchase and genuine interest in the product.
  3. Listeners feel more connected to the brand when hearing contextually aligned ads.
  4. Listeners who felt energized or excited were more receptive to the ad. Audio during rituals get people motivated and more open to noticing ads.
  1. Ensure contextual targeting is a part of your digital audio planning to drive transactional next steps.
  2. Explore rituals to reach a highly engaged audience and amplify the effectiveness of your audio.
Audacy came out with a campaign to promote the Audacy app across radio stations: four markets, 22 stations, 20 unique promos, during six weeks of media. Findings show that the rituals campaign worked—increases in app downloads are directly attributable to the rituals campaign. The campaign particularly influenced heavy radio listeners, parents, 35-54 and cross-platform listeners. Key takeaways:
  • Audio rituals works.
  • Audio rituals targeting works.
  • There is a way to further slice and be more precise with audio.

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