January 13, 2018

  by Nigel Hollis

Canada’s Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA) held its annual Net Gain conference in Toronto late last year with the key note addressing the topic of copy testing in a mobile first world.

The content confirms that the creative quality makes a big difference to in-market results and that pre-testing can help improve effectiveness.

The presentation was a delivered by representatives of a triumvirate of partner companies: Joseph Chen, Vice President/Country Manager – Canada at ZappiStore, Luke Stringer, Brand Measurement and Research Lead at Facebook Canada and Paul Neto, Vice President, Digital and Media –Kantar Canada. The presentation compares results from in-context pre-testing, where respondents are exposed to ads in their own Facebook feed, with Facebook’s in-market brand lift metrics.

Reassuringly the analysis finds that strong copy test brand scores align with higher breakthrough in ad recall and brand awareness lift. So what are the qualities that anticipate how well an ad will perform in people’s newsfeed?

The research finds that strong branding was the #1 copy-testing discriminator in ad recall lift between top and bottom performing ads. This is completely consonant with other media and reflects the finding from our Make a Lasting Impression Report from last year which stated, “No brand means no impression”. If people do not connect the advertising impression with the advertised brand in some way there is little chance it will have an influence on later behavior. However, mobile does require quicker branding. If the brand is conveyed in the first three seconds then ad recall is twice as high than if the brand is shown later.

For a video ad to capture attention in the Facebook newsfeed it needs to show something interesting or unique; it has to stand out in some way. Here some key recommendations for making your video work well:

  •     Grab attention quickly with colorful and striking content that stands out.
  •     Introduce the brand within the first three seconds and your message within five.
  •     Craft your execution to work without sound.

While shorter ads (fewer than 10 seconds) generally work better in a mobile newsfeed, the research does find that if the ad can hold people’s attention longer then in-market recall is likely to be higher.

With people spending more and more time on mobile devices it is more important than ever to make the most of your mobile impression and one way is to check your creative is likely to work ahead of time. In our mobile-first world advertising must earn attention more than ever and pre-testing can help ensure your executions will work as intended and money spent on media is not wasted.


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