NEWS15 October 2015

Mobile best for ad engagement

News Telecoms UK

How people respond and engage with advertising depends upon the device they are watching on, according to a neuroscience study carried out by multi-screen video advertising tech company, YuMe, in conjunction with Horizon Media and Nielsen.


Presenting the findings at the IAB Engage conference in London today (Thursday), YuMe research director, Paul Neto, said that the hypothesis for the study was that “the device you choose acts as a prime for how you engage with the content” and that it was designed to help understand subconscious levels where branding happens.

The study used a combination of eye tracking, behavioural coding, self-reporting and core biometrics and involved about 200 individuals.

“We went through a calibration process for individuals; starting with a five minute video so you can get an individual response to different stimuli. Then they watched 30 minutes of TV content (Big Bang Theory) and ads,” he said.

Differences emerged in the engagement over time; for instance mobile was highest for driving engagement and tablets sustained engagement over the longest period while TV ended on an emotional high.

“TV and laptops behave more alike – both have a drop of engagement in the middle part,” said Neto.

The study recommended the following best practice:

  • Brand early and often to take advantage of the emotional peaks
  • Tight story helps – 15 second ads perform well (longer ads get lulls of engagement)
  • Use the ‘human connection’ – anytime you bring in a face, especially speaking to the audience, you get a peak of engagement
  • Context matters – e.g. QSR works better on mobile , entertainment works best on laptop and TV
  • Avoid use of small details and dark scenes on smartphones. As move down screen size, dark scenes drop in engagement
  • Be mindful of creative length by device.

Four key takeaways:

  1. All devices provide the opportunity to engage viewers but do so in different ways
  2. Similar styles and themes work well on similar sized screens
  3. Device mindset is key – different mindsets apply different in advertising success 
  4. Target unique devices with creative that plays to the device strength.