Branded Content Seen More Effective Than Pre-Rolls For Various KPIs

Nielsen-Branded-Content-v-Pre-Roll-Ads-Jul2016Branded content – such as educational online video series or TV show brand integrations – is more effective than pre-rolls in driving a variety of KPIs including brand recall and purchase intent, research from Nielsen has found.

Nielsen examined consumers’ reactions to 100 pieces of branded content, finding that effectiveness is impacted not only by the format of the message but also the environment in which it’s delivered.

In comparing the same brand when marketed as branded content and as a pre-roll ad, Nielsen found that:

  • Branded content averaged 86% brand recall among viewers, versus 65% from the pre-roll ad;
  • Lift in affinity was higher for branded content (28%) than pre-roll (18%);
  • Lift in purchase intent was also larger for branded content (13%) than pre-roll (10%), as it was for recommendation intent (20% vs. 16%).

Part of the issue may be the dislike that consumers have for pre-roll video ads: a majority of online browsers in the US and Europe dislike pre-roll ads, per recent HubSpot research.

A new study from MarketingCharts likewise finds that ads in online video (such as YouTube ads) have little influence on consumers. While almost two-thirds of adults surveyed reported having watched an online video in the past week, just 15% said they recalled a specific advertiser when watching online video. And although more than one-third felt exposed to many ads in online video, only 5% credited an online video ad with influencing a purchase in the prior 6 months.

In fact, adults surveyed were as likely to say that a TV product placement had influenced a purchase as an online video ad. (More details here.)

Not too surprisingly, the Nielsen research indicates that there’s a positive correlation between engaging content and brand lift. In other words, the more likely a consumer is to want to watch future episodes of content, the more positively they feel about the brand integrated into that content.

Nielsen identifies the following drivers of successful branded content:

  • Excellent central personality;
  • Unique and original concept;
  • Personal connection with audience;
  • Emotionally engaging experience; and
  • Brand & content fit together.