Brand Safety Is Not the Only Factor Determining the Effectiveness of Video Ads

The Influence of Context, released Wednesday, examines how the context in which video ads are viewed affects how viewers perceive them and how they perform, and it analyzed both the type of content the ads appeared next to and the way those ads were consumed.

The three companies said in a statement, “The study was set-up to test pre-roll video ads before various types of content across in-feed and non-feed environments. Content types included premium publisher content, user-generated content from established creators and UGC from everyday people. Participants were exposed to different combinations of content and ads across three different environments: in-feed on Twitter, non-feed on a video aggregator and non-feed on publisher sites.”

The study tapped 52 clips from nine content genres and three brands, which were shown to a representative panel of 4,776 mobile users.

Key findings included:

  • Content adjacency is a powerful driver for brand key performance indicators: When pre-roll video ads were placed beside content perceived as high-quality and highly trustworthy, the study found a 12% increase in purchase intent based on trust and a 9% uptick in purchase intent based on quality.
  • There’s a halo over premium: Participants had a more positive opinion of premium content than they did of UGC, and brands with ads that appeared in front of premium content were rated as more favorable and interesting.
  • All UGC is not created equally: Ads appearing adjacent to UGC created by verified content creators were perceived as more relevant and trustworthy. Conversely, the study found that UGC created by average users can actually stifle the impact of video ads.
  • The power of choice: Participants felt less forced to watch pre-roll ads that appeared in-feed than in a non-feed environment, and in-feed pre-roll ads felt more relevant than non-feed ads and had greater impacts on brand favorability (11% versus 5%) and purchase intent (10% versus 6%) when compared with the control.
IPG Media Lab/Magna/Twitter

Twitter head of global business partners Stephanie Prager said in a statement, “As digital video ad spend continues to rise, leading to a projected cost of $24.9 billion by 2025, it is crucial for marketers to understand how to enable deeper connections between people and the things that they love and care about. We hope this study shines a light on the areas of opportunity and the range of video ad experiences marketers can explore to build high impact, performance driving strategies.”

Magna senior vice president of intelligence solutions Kara Manatt added, “People often don’t realize just how powerful context is in advertising effectiveness. It’s not just about the platform or device—it’s also about content adjacency. The importance of the content extends well beyond brand safety alone. Premium in particular can have a powerful brand favorability halo.”

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