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IAS Study: The Ripple Effect – Why you may be annoying your audience – and you didn’t even know it

To get a sense of what consumers are saying about content and environment quality, we conducted The Ripple Effect study. This research was designed to measure how consumer perception of a brand changes when its advertisements appear in different quality environments. Here’s what we learned: 

Content Quality and Ad Relevance are closely related

While the quality of a digital ad’s environment remains the factor that consumers find most important, ad relevance remains a critical concern for marketers to focus on. IAS found that 91% of UK consumers consider it important where a digital ad is placed, whilst a massive 87% believe it is important for ads to be relevant, personally, to them.

The biggest opportunity for brands, therefore, lies at the intersection of these two factors. 

Brands must both target consumers with relevant ads and also ensure ads are placed in a high quality content environments. In doing so, brands in the UK can maximise their impact.

High-quality content drives engagement

The study indicates widespread favourability for premium-quality ad placement. Consumers in the UK are 65% more likely to engage with an ad when surrounded by high-quality content, climbing to 66% in Singapore and 78% in Indonesia. Interaction with an ad is clearly much more likely when the consumer feels the surrounding content is of high quality.

A bad ad placement has serious consequences

The most worrisome insight we gathered in our study revealed that almost nine in ten (88%) UK consumers find it annoying when a brand appears next to low quality content. 

Low quality content environment also effects on brand reputation and appeal: over half (55%) of UK consumers state they feel less favourable about brands after seeing ads in sub-standard settings and 70% would stop using those brands all together. Meanwhile, a further 68% of British consumers hold brands accountable for poor placements and this figure only increases globally: reaching 72% in France and 86% in Indonesia.

So, in summary, our key learnings are:

  1. Make sure your ads are relevant and personal – but make sure your ads appear in a high quality environment
  2. Are you ads surrounded by top notch content? Make sure the places your ads end up contain content that matches the quality of your own ads
  3. Avoid a tarnished reputation by ensuring your ads do not end up appearing in a low quality environment – you could lose brand integrity and worse, customers

Understanding the environment where your ads will appear is the first step to stopping the Ripple Effect in its tracks. By centering your brand safety strategy around the consumer, and controlling for what is suitable to them, you can avoid a bad ad placement that will send ripples through your brand engagement, favourability, and loyalty. 

Download the full Ripple Effect Study now to learn more.

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