Can Online Social Pressure be Good for You?

  • MSI

Virtual Support Communities (VSCs) can have both positive and negative consequences for users. On the one hand, VSCs provide information and emotional support, which can help members achieve health and wellness goals. On the other, the social dynamics are such that community managers or admins must understand how to control them, and how such forces affect consumer engagement.

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NYCU: Improving Content Discovery

Conviva’s presentation addressed an urgent issue for content providers: how to improve strategies that help audiences find their programs and drive engagement. Nick Cicero, Vice President, Conviva, presented new insights from a survey conducted with Dynata this spring.

  • Streaming services are looking for ways to increase engagement with the platform and its content. Conviva thinks that “personalization algorithms” are one way to drive viewership.
  • TV ads still play an important role in content discovery, as are friend or family recommendations. However, social media play a crucial role in driving both discovery and engagement with content.
  • The data clearly show that streaming and social media use are not in competition but complimentary: heavy streamers are also heavy users of social media and many social media activities are related to viewing (i.e., discussing/recommending TV shows on social media and watching videos on social media).
  • Not all streamers are the same. Content providers should analyze viewer groups to understand their value and to target them in an optimal way. This study differentiated between four segments and found the heaviest users (“Heavies”) to be most relevant: they spend more, they are more tolerant of ads and they are likely to recommend services and programs.

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NYCU: Music & Sports Can Make Ads More Effective

Two presentations (both based on research conducted by MediaScience) demonstrated how the context in which ads are placed can have a strong impact of the ads’ performance. Context Matters: Music Television Learnings on Engaging Audiences Laura Vanison - Director Consumer & Artist Insights, Vevo; Bryon Schafer - SVP, Research, Vevo; Dr. Duane Varan - CEO, MediaScience. This presentation described a research project that confirmed the power of context effects, especially when there is alignment between the content and the ad creative, in a music video environment.

  • Vevo’s consumer surveys have shown that most viewers of music videos want to alter or improve their mood and they seek out the music that fits the mood they’re after. This research explored how mood states evoked by music videos impacted the performance of ads that were aligned with those moods.
  • Using neuro-metric measures in lab experiments, the study found that ads paired with music videos of a similar mood drove greater brand impact.
  • The researchers point out that this finding is consistent with other data that found “mood repair.” This context effect is where the emotions evoked by the content transfers the to the ads, especially if the ad is aligned. (Different context effects have been found for other content, such as “excitation transfer” from sports programs to ads in those programs). The researchers recommend that advertisers take advantage of the opportunity to increase engagement with the ad and enhance brand impact though alignments with the context.
The Power of Live TV & Sports - TV's Advantage or Unrealized Potential for OTT? Marc Sommer - VP, Strategy & Consumer Insights, FOX Sports; Amy Rask, Ph.D. - Chief Operating Officer, MediaScience This study explored “The Power of Now” – the role of live sports, for viewers and advertisers – with an in-lab experiment that used biometric measures as well as a survey. Special attention was given to the role of sports betting.
  • The study found that watching sports (NFL games) live resulted in more attention and more positive evaluations of the game, and it resulted in more purchase intent compared to watching the next day.
  • Watching sports live also resulted in better ad recall and brand memory than watching other primetime content.
  • The study found a strong effect for sports betting, concluding that “Gambling amplifies emotional engagement.” Gamblers watch more and, importantly, their engagement during the game carries over into ad breaks.
Marc stressed that these findings confirm that sports ratings points are worth more and that sports deserves a premium. Finally, two issues were raised.  First: Are live sports an unrealized potential for streaming services? Second: Can sports betting be integrated into live sports streaming?

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NYCU: Brands and Controversial Content

An ARF Cognition Council event featured new research on ads with altruistic appeals and studies that provide different views on "brand safety."

On October 14th, The ARF Cognition Council's Context Effects Working Group hosted a panel to discuss the importance of values in advertising and the content that surrounds it. Moderated by Horst Stipp, the Working Group included talks by Manuel Garcia-Garcia (Ipsos), Kimberly Rose Clark (Merchant Mechanics and Dartmouth College), Bill Harvey (RMT), Nathaniel Greywoode (Twitter), and Stefan Wojcik (Twitter). Here is a summary of the presentations and the discussion:
  • Innovative research by Merchant Mechanics, using neuroscience and traditional methods as well as AI algorithms, showed that altruistic appeals in ads can be very successful in engaging viewers and also stimulate altruistic behaviors. Also discussed were a number of peer-reviewed research studies focused on altruism's influence on decision making, attitudes and behaviors. Clark shared ways in which some of this basic research can be implemented in creative strategy in advertising communications.
  • Research based on the RMT method explored how other emotions are related to altruism, pointing to opportunities for ad creatives to develop a variety of appeals related to altruism. In addition, this research stressed the positive impact of alignments with the ad context as well as alignment between ad creative and brand image.
  • Ipsos reported on their finding that over half of consumers expect brands to take a stand on equality issues. This sentiment is particularly strong among young, Hispanic, and Black consumers. The conclusion: Companies should connect with consumers by signaling their commitment to addressing racial justice issues (and also act in this area). Not doing so, the researchers concluded, presents a risk for companies and brands.
  • A presentation by Twitter looked at risks for brands in the current cultural and political climate from the widely discussed 'brand safety" perspective, that is, their research explored whether proximity of promoted tweets to controversial content present a risk for companies and brands. Twitter's analysis found that well over 90% of tweets were not "controversial" and that ads that were adjacent to controversial content had only small reductions in attention, while other metrics were not affected.
  • The discussion further explored advertiser opportunities using altruistic appeals and alignments with ad context. The issue of how to best connect with consumers and the possible risks of controversial context raised some questions: Do the Twitter data suggest that "brand safety" concerns have been exaggerated? On the other hand, to what extent should advertisers embrace social issues given that many of those issues are controversial and polarizing? Do we need more data on the impact of brands' social activism before drawing conclusions?
Note: The full summary is available to members. Another Cognition Council event addressing similar issues will take place December 1.

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NYCU: What Media Execs Worry About

An Advertising Week panel on audience fragmentation reveals what media execs are worried about today.

Over the last 19 months, thanks to the pandemic, that bubble has seemingly reached a fever pitch pushing advertisers to look for new, measurable and cost-efficient ways to reach consumers, from connected television users to cord-cutting streamers. It was a major talking point amongst media buyers and TV executives at this year's Advertising Week. "We're looking forward to a world where you can buy fewer, better and more engaging ads that are measurable, and you can prove that actually moved that needle for a client," said Matt Sweeney, chief investment officer at Group M. "That's the Nirvana that we're all thinking about." Per media buyers at this year's conference, an increasingly fragmented audience across broadcast, cable, national, local and streaming means the playbook is changing and marketers can no longer rely on a one-size-fits-all approach. On the attribution side, it looks like what is pivotal is streamlining the process to measure and report on multiple data points across the ever-changing television landscape, they said. "On the digital (advertising) side, we've had a lifetime of cost-per-fill in the blank. On TV, we've always just had cost-per-how many people can you reach," Mike Law, President of dentsu's Amplifi said. "We're at a moment where we can turn it into cost-per-business outcome in a more progressive and scalable level." "It really comes down to reach and frequency," said Carolyn Sheflin, VP of advanced advertising sales at Spectrum Reach. "A lot of what we're doing is bringing (multiple data points) together to get unduplicated reach and frequency in the marketplace." Once you reach a certain scale, and once you work with enough Fortune 500 advertisers, they will demand that you lower those walls," Stuart Schwartzapfel, SVP of media partnerships at iSpot.tv. It won't happen overnight. But per Schwartzapfel, companies like Amazon and Google have already started to lean into partner certification programs as a "sign of good faith."

Source: McCoy, M. (2021, October 19). 'It Really Comes Down To Reach And Frequency': TV Execs Sound Off At Advertising Week On Audience FragmentationDigiday.

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NYCU: Audio and Visual Messages Work Well Together

A study assessed the impact of seeing audio messages on attention to and engagement with visual messages. It found that radio ads had a positive impact on the same ads on TV or as a website banner.

The research paper is called, "The Theater of the Mind: The Effect of Radio Exposure on TV Advertising," and is by Vincenzo Russo, Riccardo Valesi, Anna Gallo, Rita Laureanti and Margherita Zito, at the Università IULM, Milan, Italy. It confirms key findings of the ARF's "How Advertising Works" project. Campaigns using more than one medium are likely to be more effective than those using only one. This study, utilizing neuroscience-based methods, found that participants who had been exposed to radio ads spent a longer time looking at the brand and had a higher engagement when watching the same advertisements on television or as website banners. The authors conclude that exposure to a radio advertisement enhances the effectiveness of the same advertisement via TV or web.

Source: Social Sciences (2020, July 15). "The Theater Of The Mind": The Effect Of Radio Exposure On TV Advertising. MPDI.

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Values in Advertising or the Content Around It, Part I (Event Summary)

  • By Alex Poppen, Ipsos

The ARF Cognition Council presented their work on altruistic advertising and brand safety, with fresh investigations from Twitter and members of the Council. This research highlighted characteristics of altruistic creative assets, public attitudes about brands’ embrace of social causes, and the impact of social values and controversial content on attention, engagement, and advertising outcomes.

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Balancing Personalization and Data Privacy for Optimal Customer Experience (Event Summary)

Marketers currently face a daunting paradox: 91% of US consumers say they are more likely to shop with brands that provide personalized offers and recommendations; meanwhile, 81% of respondents say the potential risks of data collection by companies outweigh the benefits. This leaves marketers to thread a delicate balance – provide customers with a personalized experience and ensure that their data is secure and being used responsibly. During this Insights Studio event, HawkPartners shared a blueprint for brands to follow when balancing these issues, and industry leaders from tech and healthcare shared best practices in how they balance these marketing priorities.  

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