When it comes to advertising, there are a plethora of ad formats for brands to choose from, but with so much choice it can be difficult to decide which format is optimal to achieve a specific goal. With the rise of retail media set to continue in 2023.
All too often, marketers evaluate ad formats and develop media plans based on an advertiser’s key performance metrics.
To help with this decision-making process, Reprise Commerce and MAGNA Media Trials (the research lab for Mediabrands) explored the effectiveness of different ad formats at each stage of the purchase journey.
We created a controlled study, which examined ad formats from the consumer perspective to distill how and when each ad format should be utilized in the customer journey to achieve campaign goals.
We recruited participants aged 18-49 into randomized test and control groups. We then tested four ad formats: pre-roll video, display ads, sponsored video on an eCommerce site, and custom content on an eCommerce site.
The participants viewed a mobile webpage, with appropriate Amazon ads served based on test or control assignment and were then asked to complete a survey to measure the impact on traditional branding metrics.
The customer purchase journey provides greater insight into what information a customer needs at a given stage.
Video excels at offering more information right when people need it – when they are in the discovery phase. The sights, sounds and dynamism of video help to drive new acquisitions.
While display ads are often considered a performance driver, they also play a critical role with consumers who are in the consideration phase of the purchase journey.
Display ads capture the attention of consumers who are already in-market for the advertised product and help to keep the brand top-of-mind. For those customers who have narrowed down their consideration set, display ads serve to further familiarize them with the brand.
On an eCommerce site, sponsored video helps to bring the product to life for consumers in the consideration phase of the purchase journey. Video ads boosted unaided ad recall amongst our test subjects, and had a positive impact on brand favorability and purchase consideration.
Video proved to be a powerful ad format for consumers in the discovery phase as well, with our study showing it improved both brand familiarity and favorability, and often resulted in a consumer wanting to try the product out. Our results suggest video is useful for conveying just the right amount of information about the product to the consumer.
Custom content, such as Amazon’s A+ premium content, boosted brand favorability and various other metrics throughout each stage of the purchase journey. This finding highlights the importance of having in-depth knowledge of PDP (Product Detail Pages), whether on eCommerce retail sites or on a DTC website.
Download the full case study
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