Study: TikTok ads more memorable than TV

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Brands on TikTok see higher levels of receptiveness to brand messaging, calls-to-action and ad breakthrough, according to an independent study conducted by neuroanalytics and neuromarketing firm Neuro-Insight.

Specifically, TikTok’s For You page encourages higher levels of relevancy and engagement with audiences, making brands more memorable on the platform.

The TikTok study consisted of neuro research conducted in the US with 57 in-lab respondents 18-35 years old and included 24 minutes of TikTok browsing experience per respondent, including the overall platform experience and exposure to 26 ads. The results of the study revealed a number of powerful insights relating to the impact of ads on TikTok, including three major takeaways:

  • TikTok videos are hyper-relevant and more engaging

TikTok’s powerful combination of relevance and engagement creates a more pleasurable experience and enables users to be more receptive to brand messaging and calls-to-action from businesses of all sizes.

In Neuro-Insight’s study, TikTok stood out from other platforms on two key dimensions of consumers’ neuro response: Approach and Engagement.

Approach shows the content’s emotional valence. It correlates with the likeability of what was seen and with the in-the-moment action (e.g. paving the way for unplanned purchases). Along this dimension, TikTok showed to be 44 per cent stronger than Social Media on average.

Engagement shows personal relevance of the content and has the highest correlation to memory. This determines whether someone is going to act on the information in the future (e.g. buy a product in store). TikTok’s engagement rate in this study was 15 per cent stronger than other leading platforms.

“TikTok’s unique engagement signature gives it an edge to be able to deliver ads and branded content in a way and at a moment when consumers are most open to receiving that messaging – and while all such signatures change over time, it is a golden opportunity for brands to use TikTok to their advantage right now, said Pranav Yadav, US & Europe CEO, Neuro-Insight.

  • TikTok ads break through more than TV and digital video

Neuro-Insight’s study also found that for advertisers, TikTok provides a platform where businesses and brands are more memorable and more directly linked to in-market sales.

When compared to other video-based media, like TV, digital video, and radio, TikTok outperformed the competition on multiple levels. For example, TikTok In-Feed Ads achieve 23 per cent higher detail memory than TV ads, while TikTok TopView ads outperformed TV by 40 per cent.

  • TikTok is more consistently engaging

Information density is a way of measuring the amount of information within a limited space. Given the immersive, relevant experience compared to other leading platforms, engagement among users. TikTok’s content preference delivery method and shorter video formats create continuous cycles of engagement, making TikTok the leading platform for information density. TikTok users experience consistently more peaks of engagement during their time with the platform. This further suggests that TikTok users are fully leaned in and immersed on TikTok compared to other platforms.

“Understanding Engagement and how it can drive advertiser breakthrough is a research topic that has seen a lot of foundational validation in the industry. As we begin our own ads research learning journey at TikTok, we are happy to share one of our first findings around ‘information density’ that is starting to help us see what makes a TikTok tick,” commented Jorge Ruiz, Head of Marketing Science, TikTok.


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