Brand Early, Brand Often, Brand Informative

That is, in short, the key insight from The ARF Re:Think 2016 conference!

Numerous research by multiple parties has shown that digital ads, particularly, video ads are drastically sub-optimized for digital and many brands are still creating to the standards of TV and delivering across other channels. For effective ad engagement, this needs to change.

Below are a few key points to keep in mind while creating impactful brand messaging on digital platforms.

Focus on Visuals Over Sound

Research by Resolution Media and Facebook reveals that only 24% of videos are understandable without sound and 78% failed to attention leading no engagement on these spots.

The digital viewer is an engaged viewer. Unlike TV, where people tend to multitask when an ad slot appears, a viewer on the digital medium is fully focused on all senses when the ad is delivered. Often, the content is viewed sans sound. Therefore, it is important to engage the viewer through the visual and ensure that the image delivers the brand and its message effectively. 

Start Branding Pre-0.25 Sec in Videos

Across desktop and mobile platforms, video ads show a 36% recall rate (ESPN + Media Science) as early as the 0.5 second mark with mobile ad recall rate at 0.25 sec (Resolution Media + Facebook).

Additionally, research by Dr. Silberstein on Neuro Insight has shown the existence of the Conceptual Closure in the way the brain processes and stores information. The impact of this is that branding that occurs after the story finishes is not retained while the story itself is stored for recall.

So, for effective branding, showcase the brand early, reiterate the brand name and messaging often, throughout the ad and certainly do not leave it at the end after the curtain call!

Effective Advertising Examples

Intro Video - Voya Ad -

CREATE Informative BRANDED Content

Content is not cheap but increasingly research shows that the higher ROI of this channel justifies the investement. IPG Lab's latest research shows that branded content has a 37% overall favorability with consumers compared to ~23% of video ads, across geographies. Their survey also categorically puts "Informative" as the key metric to focus on in created such content. High performing content create resonance in the mind of the consumer by being Trustworthy, Authentic, Informative.


Research by Facebook and Neuro Insight on key brain drivers of long term brand retention has shown that when TV exposure was primed with digital ads, the Long Term Memory encoding is significantly higher than when TV was used to Prime and Engage.

The impact of this for omnichannel strategies is significant particularly in terms of allocation and sequence. Using measurement models such as ONE by In4mation Insights, can help chart out how to allocate incremental marketing spend across digital and traditional channels, recaliberate and optimize the marketing mix on an ongoing basis. Overlaying the data from Facebook IQ, which, allows target audiences based on incremental ad impact, enables measurable impact driven advertising on digital mediums as well as a pragmatic approach to integrated cross-channel marketing strategies. 

Parting Thoughts

Finally, digital ads have a greater impact in middle of funnel objectives such as affinity and have lesser direct impact on long term purchase behavior. Corroborating this reflection is that social media is more indicative of brand experiences rather than brand connections or emotions and therefore the latter are harder to measure on digital channels.

Given, the behavior on this medium, digital ads are more effective in driving short term purchase decisions, such as, promotion buying, incremental reach increase, driving in-store campaign sales etc.