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MediaBrix: Identify ads as ads, not content
In the new Internet landscape some brands are experimenting with content-based advertising. This isn't a bad thing in itself, but according to a new MediaBrix survey ads that look like content and aren't identified as ads can damage a brand's reputation.
"This study validates that people respond best to authenticity in advertising no matter the format. With the recent buzz around 'native' ad formats, I think we need to carefully consider best practices," said Ari Brandt, CEO for MediaBrix. "While anyone pushing the native ad agenda or otherwise would agree that we need to provide user experiences that are not jarring or disruptive, we also need to ensure that we are direct and honest with consumers about when they are being marketed to. Some formats achieve this better than others."
Here are some interesting takeaways:
• 62% who have seen 'promoted' tweets say those messages have negatively impacted their brand perception
• 72% say Facebook's 'sponsored stories' have negatively impacted their brand perception
• 85% say the same about sponsored video content
The biggest complaint from consumers is that these types of ads are misleading; consumers are saying the same about printed advertorials.
While content like this that is identified as an ad can be beneficial and might be seen as engaging to some consumers, the cut-off seems to be content-type ads that aren't identified as ad copy. Instead, MediaBrix suggests brands move to more engaging, interactive ads which are relevant to the consumer base - which means targeting is important.
Another recent MediaBrix survey found that, in mobile especially, ads in natural breaks in games or apps gave the most added value to the experience and, therefore, were the most engaging.
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