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BizReport : Advertising archives : February 16, 2012

Psychster: Entertainment sites not always best fit for online ads

According to social media psychology firm Psychster, online ad buyers are more likely to focus their buying on entertainment websites. But is a brand really more likely to be viewed as hip and cool or, more importantly, honest, alongside such content?

by Helen Leggatt

psychster logo.gifPyschster's study reveals that online ad buyers show a 6 to 1 preference to purchase ads on entertainment websites over education websites. However, when bank ads were tested on both entertainment and education websites it was the latter than performed the best.

Results of tests with college-age students show that banks that advertised on education websites were 10% more likely to be described as cool, honest, classy and modern and were 18% more likely to generate a click than when their ads were placed on entertainment websites.

Furthermore, the results suggest that mismatches between a users' orientation and the ads may backfire. A bank was perceived as less classy, cool, honest, and modern when it tried to advertise on a college-humor website than on a study-guide website.

Of course, as with any advertising activity, relevancy is key. Bank ads are perhaps more relevent to education websites, as soft-drinks ads would be more relevant to entertainment websites. Thus the ads were better received, enhanced the website content and were more likely to be engaged with.

According to Psychster's resulting white paper, "the results suggest that, contrary to widespread beliefs among ad buyers, sites whose goal is to entertain do not carry a universal advantage as an advertising platform over sites whose goal is to inform, educate, or meet users' needs in other ways. In fact, users of other sites may be more inclined toward acquiring goods or services by virtue of the site's content, and all the more so when relevant ads are displayed."

Tags: ad buying, ad targeting, banking, entertainment website, finance, online advertising, online content, online media

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