Most Consumers Want to See Ads That Match A Webpage’s Content

September 18, 2020

IAS Content Sentiment Impact Digital Ad Receptivity Sept2020About three-quarters (74%) of consumers like to see ads that match the content they’re viewing, according to a report [download page] from Integral Ad Science (IAS). Here’s what the study has to say about how context and sentiment are influencing the digital advertising landscape right now.

One thing made clear by the more than 1,100 US internet users surveyed was the importance of context – the majority (70%) found it at least somewhat important that advertising is relevant to the content being consumed.

After being shown a real-world example, about 3 in 4 (74%) also said they would want to see the ad type that matched the displayed content. This affects how consumers see the brand, too, with more than half (56%) claiming that they have a more favorable opinion of brands with contextually relevant ads. And, regardless of active preference, consumer perception towards an ad is certainly impacted by the content on the page, with 72% of respondents reporting as such.

The same can be said for various verticals analyzed in the report. Across articles associated with entertainment, investing, restaurant, shopping and automotive verticals, the majority wanted to see an ad from the same vertical. This was particularly true of entertainment articles, which nearly 8 in 10 (79%) consumers wanted paired with entertainment ads.

Consumer perception is also found to be influenced by the sentiment of the content being consumed. Referring to whether an article conveys a positive, neutral or negative feeling to the consumer reading it, more than 7 in 10 (72%) consumers agree that content sentiment impacts their feeling towards brands advertising on the page.

Ads adjacent to content with a positive or neutral sentiment scored best in terms of receptivity (+80% versus the average), favorability (+93%) and memorability (+24%), while these same metrics scored far worse for ads adjacent to content with negative sentiment (-30%, -39% and -12% respectively).

These perception scores improve significantly when assessing particular verticals. Automotive ads, for example, see a favorability score that is some 188% higher when associated with positive or neutral content than with content that spurs a negative sentiment, and a receptivity score that is 160% higher. Financial ads are also shown to greatly benefit from being adjacent to content with positive or neutral sentiment, experiencing 48% higher receptivity, 101% higher favorability and 34% higher memorability.

However, it’s retail ads that stand out as the vertical whose consumer perception is most greatly improved by placement alongside content with positive or neutral sentiment. These ads see a favorability score that is some 441% higher than those placed alongside a negative sentiment, with a 354% higher receptivity score and a 41% higher memorability score.

An example used of a positive or neutral headline in the retail vertical is “Best Back-to-School Sales 2020: The Ultimate Deals Guide,” while an example given of a negative headline is “Arizona woman who destroyed Target mask display in viral video says she regrets behavior.”

The full report can be found here.

About the Data: Results are based on an August 2020 survey of 1,156 US internet users.

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