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The Ins And Outs Of Ad Sentiment

New research by Mediahub Australia, IPG Lab and Magna Global reveals surprising advertiser tactics that are hurting the online ad experience.


A number of the most common advertising tactics are contributing to people’s increasingly negative perceptions of online advertising, says a new study, The Ins and Outs of Ad Sentiment, released today by Mediahub, MAGNA, and IPG Media Lab.

Australians aren’t inherently opposed to online advertising, they just don’t love or trust the ads they are served, the research shows.

While the result is apathetic people, the research also offers solutions.

“We come to work every day to challenge how things are done and find a way to deliver our clients an unfair share of attention,” says Andrew Livingston, CEO, Mediahub Australia.

“To that end, it’s critical that we understand how audiences view digital as it becomes the dominant media consumers spend time with.

“These findings make clear that the industry’s propensity to increase ad loads, gimmicky tactics like music, as well as careless targeting, are backfiring and causing consumers to tune out.

“We see the path forward as fewer, simpler and more seamless online ads, with less cluttered environments delivering a premium experience that works for consumers and advertisers alike.”

The multi-market study, conceived and undertaken by Mediahub Australia in partnership with MAGNA and the IPG Media Lab, was conducted in late 2020.

The ad industry has historically sought to engage customers with more and longer ads with “attention-grabbing design elements” such as music, but the study found that in the case of online advertising, less is more.

Key findings:

  • Targeting can make or break the experience:Many are getting too many ads that are aggressively pushing them to buy and often continue after they have already purchased the product. While lack of targeting leads to irrelevant ads, improper use leads to creepiness and annoyance.
  • Music is polarisng: Music can be a positive addition, but taste is subjective. Many also report feeling overwhelmed by the volume of music within ads.
  • Current events can be double-edged: Ads addressing current events were a significant driver of overall ad sentiment, but people have mixed opinions. Many cited brands’ approach to COVID-19 and the feeling that too many brands jumped in, quickly leading to annoyance.

Mediahub found that most factors contributing to the decline in ad sentiment are within advertisers’ control to address:

  • 60% of those surveyed said they have or considered disabling or not using ad blocking software as a result of having a positive opinion of online advertising..
  • What benefits people, benefits brands. Ad effectiveness testing revealed when many of these tactics are done well, brands get a bigger lift in KPIs.
  • Reducing the number of ads seen daily and improving ad targeting alone would improve overall ad sentiment by 24%.

In the study, a nationally representative audience of 1,270 Australians were interviewed online. Controlled ad effectiveness testing was also conducted on 44 different ad types across 3,708 Australian respondents on YouTube.

See the full research paper here

This article was originally published on AdNews

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