When digital advertising is useless for businesses – The Irish Times

Companies touting the brilliance of their advertising strategies aren’t news, but they’re rarely willing to admit that something isn’t working. When it comes to digital advertising, however, there’s a growing willingness to admit that clicks – the metric by which digital tends to be measured and sold – might not count for much.

The National Lottery revealed that people watch no more than 2½ seconds of its adverts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. That’s an average number and it’s generous when it comes to Facebook where scrollers hovered over the lottery ad for 1.7 seconds before continuing; Twitter had the highest score with an average of just 3.2 seconds.

For context, National Lottery digital ads are typically 10 seconds long – so those bored eyeballs are a lot of waste. “It’s quite humbling how little people care about your ads after all the effort put into creating them, especially on Facebook in our case,” says Stephen Cleary, Social Media Manager at the National Lottery.

The findings come from research conducted by Red C using Professor Karen Nelson-Field’s Amplified Intelligence Measurement Tool. The Australian academic and founder of the Amplified Intelligence Center The research consultancy group – whose staff includes coders as well as market researchers – has developed ‘gaze tracking’ tools that measure the active attention consumers are giving to ads and how that attention translates in action.

The world’s largest brand advertisers have begun to adapt their spending and strategies accordingly, shifting from clicks and views to reach or eye gaze

The research into social media lottery adverts is the first of its kind in Ireland in terms of eye attention, according to Cleary, adding that the release of the results was intended to contribute to a wider industry conversation on effectiveness. advertising on social networks. platforms. “It’s a hot topic,” he said. Industry interest in the research is high as it was published by the World Advertising Research Center which provides articles on advertising, marketing, brands and campaigns.

Last year, in an article for the Harvard Business Review, Sinan Aral, author of The Hype Machine, began by stating, “The effectiveness of digital ads is grossly oversold. He noted that the world’s biggest brand advertisers have begun to adapt their spending and strategies accordingly, shifting from clicks and views to reach or eye gaze.

In 2018, brand giant Unilever reduced its digital advertising by almost 30% with sales growth of 3.8%. The reduction was largely achieved by reducing frequency – endless repetition annoys as much as it influences – and segmenting audiences to target new customers who weren’t seeing its ads at all.

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For the lottery, the results of the new research have prompted an overhaul in terms of social media spending to strike a better balance between reach, frequency and attention. “We have decided to no longer report vanity statistics such as clicks, likes or shares,” Cleary explains.

He also delved into the concept of “coverage” where an ad fills a screen, as ads that only take up part of the screen have been shown to perform much worse in terms of attention. and reminder as those, for example, advertisements on TikTok, which fills the screen.

And understanding that viewers can’t be bothered to watch for more than a second or two had a creative impact as well. Cleary is quick to point out that the problem is with digital platforms, not the lottery’s creative strategy. “We don’t think this is a reflection of creation, but the reality of the platforms we advertise with.”

Cross-media searches of its waterslide visual – that giant slide and oversized swim ring that first featured in the brand’s advertising in the 2021 campaign and continues in the 2022 campaign – showed that 94% of Irish adults associate it with the National Lottery, even when displayed without logos or slogans. An extremely impressive cut for any creation.

Ad seen on TV screen, research finds, takes 109 days to no longer have impact

And while consumers are likely to only spend a second or two on the ad on social platforms, the brand is now justified in reworking the creative to ensure “brand distinctiveness” as Cleary calls it. – the slide and the inflatable ring – appears in the first frame with little or no text, because Internet users spend too little time on the ad to read much of it.

“Social may not be the platform that generates memories,” he says, but it has its uses in brand building. The lottery’s social media ads are more likely to be “a mild reinforcement of our distinctive brand assets”.

The Red C research figures are, he says, consistent with similar amplified intelligence research on social media attention in other markets and for other brands. “It’s a reality check for social media,” he says, noting that the research was “another reminder for us that as brand owners investing in media, we didn’t get this that we paid in digital advertising”.

In its own two-year cross-platform benchmark series, the Nelson-Field company also conducted research on the impact of television advertising on the phenomenon of decay – the point at which an advertisement’s impact wears off. What he found was that Facebook disintegrated 2.5 times faster than television and YouTube disintegrated three times faster than television.

An advert seen on a TV screen, according to research, takes 109 days to stop having an impact – bad news for those of us who think lottery adverts have been repeated so often in television this year, we’re perfect on his word Mr Blue Sky earworm jingle.

Marilyn J. Hernandez