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Research reinforces the value of premium ad context

By Rande Price, Research VP – DCN @Randeloo


Media research continues to prove that ad performance is better in premium content environments. From comScore’s 2016 research to more recent reports, World Media Group (WMG) and Integral Ad Science (IAS), findings show that it matters where advertising campaigns run. In fact, running ads on premium publisher sites substantially impacts advertising effectiveness.

ThinkPremiumDigital‘s new research, What’s so premium about premium digital?, further demonstrates the significant impact of content over ad perception. ThinkPremiumDigital partnered with MediaScience to conduct one of the biggest cross-platform ad effectiveness studies.

Their findings confirm that advertising in premium content is more effective than run of the internet and Facebook. The research includes two phases. Phase 1 examines advertising across 252 websites among 5,300 participants in Australia. Phase 2 will continue to explore ad effectiveness in social environments and include YouTube.

Measurement metrics

MediaScience’s research methodology is rooted in the fact that memory builds brands. It also confirms that memory pathways are more open to brand messages when people are consuming information and entertainment.

The analysis includes three stages of memory: encoding (recognition), storage (prompted recall) and retrieval (unprompted recall). Specifically, the research highlights premium digital’s ability to encode memories, which validates its power to build brands.

  • Encoding is processing incoming information so it can be entered in memory.
  • Storage is maintaining information in memory for a set amount of time.
  • Retrieval is accessing or recalling stored information from memory to use.

The brand lift metric represents a composite measure of:

  • awareness (of the brand, product, or offering);
  • attitude (opinion on quality, value and appeal);
  • recall (ability to remember);
  • favorability (likelihood to recommend); and
  • intent (likelihood to purchase).

Overall findings 

Across display and short-form video content, premium environments deliver 2.4 times better recall. They deliver 1.6 times the brand lift of run-of-internet ads.

In terms of short-form video content, ads in premium environments offer 1.8 times better recall and 2.8 times the brand lift than short-form video on run of the internet.

They also deliver 1.8 times higher recall than Facebook video. It’s important to note that this research uses Facebook as a proxy for all social media. The research looks ad placement on the platform in aggregate, without any distinction of the content on Facebook, premium or not. Future research will include the impact of content brands on Facebook.

This study once again proves that advertising on high quality content sites drives higher brand attention and engagement for both display and video advertising. It recognizes the positive lift from the premium environments as a key driver of needed brand signals. The findings should be a loud wake-up call to marketers to place their advertise in quality and trusted media brands.


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Research reinforces the value of premium ad context