Press Release: New Study Reveals Branded Content Is Twice As Memorable As Display Ads
NEW YORK (Sept. 23, 2016) — According to a new quantitative study, “Storytelling: The Current State of Branded Content” by IPG Media Lab, Forbes and S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, branded content’s impact is superior to display advertising in terms of recall, brand perception and intent/consideration. To access the study, please visit http://www.ipglab.com/2016/09/23/ipg-media-lab-forbes-evaluate-the-current-state-of-branded-content.
This new study included over 4,000 Forbes readers in the U.S. who were asked to view webpage content featuring brands such as SONY, Maserati and Boeing, followed by a post-exposure survey. The results demonstrated that:
- Brand recall is 59 percentage points higher for branded content, and consumers were 14 percent more likely to seek out more content from the brands after a single exposure to branded content.
- An increase in the effectiveness of branded content over time was also measured. Aided ad recall showed a 17 percentage point improvement when measured against a similar 2013 study conducted by the IPG Media Lab.
- Additionally, branded content was perceived more positively than display ads, with consumers more likely believing that the content is intended to educate.
“This study has demonstrated that branded content has a significant impact across the entire marketing funnel and should be an area of emphasis for our brand partners,” said Tom Davis, Chief Marketing Officer at Forbes Media. “One key finding is that branded content outperforms display ads and is twice as memorable. Yet the combination of the two on the same page drives the best results.”
Key highlights include:
- Branded Content Works: Branded content is highly effective across the branding funnel and outperforms display ads. In addition to aided recall’s 59 percentage point increase, brand favorability was 7 percentage points higher and purchase consideration was 9 percentage points higher.
- Branded Content Holds Up Over Time: Despite the loss of novelty often seen with ad products across time, branded content was as effective, if not more so, in 2016 compared to results seen in the 2013 study.
- Branded Content Is Perceived Better: Consumers perceive branded content as being more consumer-centric because it is less about selling products and more about providing value to consumers.
- Brand Interest Increases with Branded Content: Branded content may drive lasting interest in the brand. Consumers were 14 percentage points more likely to say they intend to seek out more information about the brand in the future.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Mention Your Brand:‘Higher Branding,’ defined as 2x the number of brand mentions, caused brands to be perceived as more educational by over 7 percentage points and performs better on mobile devices.
- Longer Form Branded Content Drives Millennial Purchase Consideration:18-34 year olds responded better to long articles, driving higher engagement consideration rates and aiding recall.
- Performance on Forbes.com Shows Value: Among those most engaged with the content, there was evidence that branded content performed particularly well on the Forbes website compared to brand sites
“The advertising industry devotes significant financial resources to reaching and influencing audiences, but the measurement of impact can still be murky. Our goal was to provide quantifiable metrics measuring the effectiveness of branded content,” said Kara Manatt, SVP, Intelligence Solutions & Strategy, at IPG Media Lab. “What we found is that the novelty of branded content has not worn off and it is still effective at driving metrics that marketers truly care about. It allows advertisers to connect with audiences in a way that is more consumer-centric -- a way that offers value to the consumer as opposed to a product push.”
While the typical metrics for branded content, such as “number of views” and “time spent,” are valuable to marketers, there is a noticeable gap in measurement, specifically the impact that these initiatives have on consumers’ opinions of the brand and intent to purchase it. This research was conducted to help fill that void by using the most rigorous techniques, including experimental design, so that clients could be advised on the true value of branded content.
Forbes readers were recruited from Forbes.com and a representative online panel between May 26, 2016 and June 30, 2016. After qualifying for the test, consumers were randomized into a test cell where they viewed a single webpage. Participants were then asked a series of branding questions, as well as qualitative feedback. The IPG Media Lab conducted the same test utilizing different brands in 2013.
About Forbes Media
Forbes Media is a global media, branding and technology company, with a focus on news and information about business, investing, technology, entrepreneurship, leadership and affluent lifestyles. The company publishes Forbes, Forbes Asia, and Forbes Europe magazines as well as Forbes.com. The Forbes brand today reaches more than 94 million people worldwide with its business message each month through its magazines and 36 licensed local editions around the globe, Forbes.com, TV, conferences, research, social and mobile platforms. Forbes Media’s brand extensions include conferences, real estate, education, financial services, and technology license agreements.
About IPG Media Lab
The IPG Media Lab is the creative technology arm of IPG Mediabrands. Equal parts think tank, real-world proving ground, and change enabler, we provide agencies and media operators with the power to harness emerging communication opportunities by offering expertise, resources and consulting services tailored to drive quantifiable outcomes, learnings and strategies. The IPG Media Lab is part of IPG Mediabrands, the media innovation and investment arm of IPG. For more information, please visit www.ipglab.com or follow @ipglab.
About S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
Widely regarded as the nation’s leading school of communications, the Newhouse School at Syracuse University is engaged in industry partnerships and ongoing academic development that prepare students and faculty to address the issues of today’s rapidly changing media landscape. Newhouse embraces virtually every known form of information dissemination—from print and broadcast journalism, to social media and online communication, to advertising and public relations, to photography and film. This positions Newhouse perfectly to study the effects of branded content on Journalism, PR and Advertising. Associate Professor of Advertising, Beth Egan has been working on understanding how branded content is perceived and processed by consumers to aid in the teaching and development of effective and ethical content for consumers.