Ad Effectiveness & ROI

How Effective are Cause-Related Messages in Advertising Today?

  • CMO Brief

During the last five years, we have seen an upswing and change in the inclusion of values in advertising, especially the increase in cause-related marketing (CRM) which includes messages about societal goals such as sustainability, ESG (environmental, social and governance) and DEI (diversity, equity/equality and inclusion). Given marketers’ interest in these issues—ranging from wanting to express support for causes to being concerned about a possible backlash—the ARF has reviewed the research on cause-related marketing as well as related issues, such as ads with more general pro-social and altruistic messages. ARF researchers conclude that ads with cause-related messages can be effective, but many are not. Future research should focus on which kinds of messages are most effective among different consumer groups.

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Advertising Effectiveness: Performance Measurement in the New World of Privacy and Tools

  • Insights Studio

On July 26, measurement practitioners discussed how to adapt to this new era of privacy with tools for measuring ad performance effectiveness. Panelists explored new considerations for existing methods, such as marketing mix modeling (MMMs) and multi-touch attribution (MTAs), and discussed the pros and cons of various privacy enhancing technologies (PETs), including multi-party computation, clean rooms, and more.

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Surprise! Consumers Like Ads that Mock Them

  • Journal of Advertising Research

Will an ad that makes fun of the very consumers it targets offend or appeal to them? So-called “audience-targeted negative advertisements” (ATNAs) are the subject of new research that examines ATNAs through the lens of empathy. It also tests their effectiveness for promoting low- and high-status products.

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Spillover Effects Make Consumers with Weak Social Ties Effective Targets


Chinese researchers have found that social media advertising can make a significant impact on people who are socially connected to the viewers of ads—even more so than on the targeted viewers. This effect is strongest among consumers with weaker rather than strong social ties, and it challenges targeting methods rooted in customer centricity models.

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Breaking through the Blind Spots: How Marketers can be a Force for Good and Growth

  • By Megan O’Brien (Omnicom MediaGroup) Young Pros Board Member

On July 13, 2023, the ARF Young Pros gathered in New York City to examine the methodologies and insights that make for a better marketing experience. Industry leaders shared their unique perspectives to encourage attendees to reflect on society’s biases and blind spots more broadly, as well as how they echo through the media landscape.

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Ad-Spend Cues, Deepfakes/A.I., Badass Endorsers and Influencer KPIs

  • JAR Insights Studio

At this Insights Studio, authors from three different continents showcase their recently published work—including the JAR Best Paper 2022 on how advertising expenditures drive consumers’ perceptions of ad and brand quality. Also featured are studies on deepfakes and AI reshaping the advertising industry, the success of using product endorsers who are actors known for roles portraying despicable characters, and KPI patterns of social media influencers across several platforms. Talking points in the concluding Q&A span the future of AI in advertising and influencer marketing, machine-driven decisions for choosing endorsers, and factors (product- and economic-related) affecting consumer perceptions of quality in TV ads and engagement in user-generated content.

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