Analysis of On Device Research’s ad effectiveness database reveals that mobile campaigns running in Q4 see lower funnel metric improvements of nearly double the market average, despite challenges in achieving cut through in what is a typically a season of high ad clutter.
Bad news from the UK’s highstreets has seen October retail sales fall at their sharpest rate since the height of the recession in 2009, signalling a tough run up to a crucial Christmas trading period for British retailers. The knock-on effect to the digital ad market remains to be seen, but with Q4 typically a robust period in terms of ad spend, brands should not under-estimate the impact mobile campaigns can have on driving potential sales.
An analysis of our ad impact norms database has revealed that on average, Q4 campaigns (which could be used as a proxy for Christmas campaigns), generally outperform the mobile brand impact average at both ends of the branding funnel.
Typically, Q4 campaigns outperform the norm by single digits when it comes to boosting unprompted and top of mind awareness which is perhaps unsurprising given that well known household names tend to advertise heavily in Q4 – brands for whom baseline levels of awareness will always be higher and harder to shift in large increments. It is at the lower end of the branding funnel where Q4 campaigns really outperform the norm however, recording a multiplier in brand consideration and purchase intent of nearly double the average typically seen in mobile advertising.
Interestingly, despite this impact at the top and bottom of the branding funnel, Q4 campaigns are actually underperforming the norm in terms of boosting ad recall. At a time of high ad clutter, consumers are being bombarded with greater quantity of brand communications and clearly struggling to recall specific ads as much as they do throughout the rest of the year. The effects of advertising are of course not always explicit however: emotional advertising can have an implicit impact, appealing to the brain’s system 1 cognitive processes by resonating emotionally – and as we’ve shown before emotion and ad impact are inextricably linked.
Despite this fact, advertisers should be aware of what they can do to boost the stand out of their Q4 campaigns, conscious that more memorable creative could boost other brand metrics further. It’s telling that 39% of On Device Research’s norms database consists of ads measured in Q4, yet only 23% of the top performing ads in terms of recall are from Q4. The guide to mobile creative best practice highlights some of the key creative attributes that brands should deploy to create memorable ads. The use of omnipresent branding, product shots and a human presence all tend to improve ad recall, while it should be noted that the retail sector is often guilty of using dual branding in mobile creative which can distract and confuse consumers.
Ultimately however, the rules of mobile creative best practice apply throughout the year – not just in Q4. The measurement and optimization of digital will increasingly raise performance benchmarks throughout the year, making the ability to cut through more important than ever.
If you’d like to find out more about how to measure digital campaign performance, then get in touch with On Device Research today: firstname.lastname@example.org / +44(0)20 7278 6627 / Cross Device Brand Impact