Native ads beat display ads for viewer recommendations

Dec 10, 2018 | Content marketing, France, Germany, Online advertising

Brits are more likely to recommend brands seen on native ads than ones seen on display, according to new research.

The study, from Oath, explores consumer behaviour when it comes to native advertising. The comprehensive study tested the reactions of 6,000+ consumers across the UK, France and Germany to primarily understand the value of native beyond traditional click through rate measurement.

The report found that native ads drive increased brand affinity amongst UK consumers, with 26% more likely to recommend brands they’ve seen on native ads and 15% more likely to consider purchase from these brands when compared to traditional display.

The research aimed to gain insight into the value of native beyond the traditional click through rate (CTR) measurement. Consumers from UK, French and German markets took part in behavioural usability tests and implicit association tests to determine how they interact with native ads on mobile and desktop, in both premium and non-premium publisher environments. The research revealed that trust associated with premium publisher environments helped to improve brand affinity scores from native, driving a 10% increase in positive brand associations from UK consumers.

Value beyond the click

  • Native formats trigger a greater positive subconscious reaction in UK consumers, resulting in a 10% increase in positive brand associations compared to traditional display.
  • This positive subconscious reaction is greatest on mobile, with a 28% increase over traditional display ads.
  • Subconscious impact helps native to build brand love by testing strength of brand loyalty across six key brand love drivers including consumer respect, trust building and shared values.

Digital advertising must evolve

  • Traditional ads are seen as increasingly disruptive with 40% of 18-24 year olds using ad blockers in UK.

Native cuts through the clutter

  • Native delivers a superior online experience, with UK consumers 20% more likely to feel that content looks more natural on the page on mobile.
  • Native blends especially well on mobile, which increases overall mobile page engagement by 21%.

Not all native is created equal

  • In-feed native delivers greater viewing and brand impact compared to bottom of page native ads, with over double the average time spent in view, +11% higher brand advocacy score and +35% positive subconscious association.
  • The environment that native sits within can also affect impact, with premium website environments found to be 23% more likely to deliver brand impact across mobile and desktop.
  • Native also delivers greater brand love on premium sites, with 30% higher brand purchase intent score than a non-premium environment.
  • Credibility of a premium publisher helps to drive this brand love.

Anna Watkins, Managing Director at Oath UK said: “Native ads have continued to present themselves as a winning format in the industry worldwide. At Oath we’ve undertaken this research to understand the benefits beyond the click-through-rate, and delve into consumers’ emotional and behavioural responses. Newer formats that deliver impactful and engaging experiences in digital environments are as powerful a proposition for brand-building as they are for conversion. Dwell time measurements and brand uplift studies are just some of the ways that Oath is looking to measure the emotional connection that consumers have to native ads, with it also being a perfect environment for interactive experiences like AR.”

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