Study: Ads must respond to social, economic trends
November 14, 2022
Findings from digital media measurement, data and analytics software platform DoubleVerify’s 2022 report, Four Fundamental Shifts in Advertising and Media, reveal the dynamic relationships between consumers, digital content, and advertising – arming stakeholders with the insights they need to make well-informed strategic decisions. Key takeaways include:
- Cost of living concerns drive ‘stay at home’ content consumption – particularly on CTV and social media – with most (55 per cent) consumers now spending more time-consuming content daily than they did pre-pandemic.
- Attention fuels media efficacy – two thirds (66 per cent) of respondents claimed an ad that captures their interest in the first five seconds will make them more likely to pay attention.
- Online shopping surges and is bolstered by a contextual approach – 54 per cent of respondents report buying more items online now than pre-pandemic, while 67 per cent are more likely to pay attention to an ad if it’s relevant to the content they’re viewing – such as reviews or gift ideas.
- Trust and shared values foster loyalty, but consumers are quick to judge – consumers are concerned about the spread of mis- and disinformation, and it shows – 61 per cent are even less likely to purchase/use a brand again if they see it advertised beside mis-/disinformation.
“This study highlights that consumer consumption habits are evolving in response to macro social and economic trends – from intensifying concerns about inflammatory or polarising content, to a continued shift in the platforms and channels consumers are turning to for content consumption,” said Mark Zagorski, CEO of DoubleVerify. “Brands must react to these changing habits to ensure they reach the right audiences as efficiently as possible and maximise their digital investments. As our research shows, with digital content consumption rising, there’s a clear opportunity to garner consumer attention and power campaign performance. To unlock this opportunity, brands must evolve their ad strategies – meeting their audiences where they consume content and focusing on contextually relevant, attention-grabbing ad placements that also safeguard their brand reputations.”
Consumer appetite for content continues to soar – led by CTV, streaming, and social
- Globally, most (55 per cent) consumers are spending more time each day consuming content now than they did pre-pandemic. In the UK, this is as high as 51 per cent. Inflation is a key driver here with almost half (45 per cent) of respondents noting the reason they’re spending more time-consuming digital content is because they are staying at home as a result of the rising cost of living.
- CTV (Connected TV) and streaming services have clear momentum, with 55 per cent of respondents both in the UK and globally having subscribed to additional services in the past 12 months. Meanwhile, globally, 27 per cent expect to spend more time on social media in the year ahead—peaking at 41 per cent among 18–24-year-olds.
- With costs under consumer scrutiny and digital content consumption rising, ad-supported content represents a growing opportunity for advertisers, with 59 per cent open to ad-supported video streaming apps if it cuts prices.
Brands must address attention fragmentation – or risk losing consumers
Survey respondents reported that they believe they see between one and 50 ads per day— – stimates suggest the true average figure is at least 4,000.
- Where an ad appears determines its impact, according to consumers. YouTube dominates as the number one proprietary platform for securing the attention of respondents in 15 out of 18 countries surveyed, followed by Facebook (39 per cent) and Instagram (28 per cent). Newer platforms continue to attract consumer time and engagement. TikTok is rapidly growing, and 43 per cent of 18–24-year-olds report they plan on spending more time in the app over the next 12 months.
- Timing is essential with two thirds (66 per cent) stating that they are more likely to pay attention if an ad captures their interest in the first five seconds.
Shopping’s digital maturity presents a new opportunity for brands to make an impact
- Online shopping continues to grow as most consumers (54 per cent) both in the UK and globally report buying more items online now than they did pre-pandemic.
- Pre-purchase habits are also evolving, with over half (53 per cent) highlighting they use digital content to inform planned purchases more often than they did before the pandemic—in the UK, this is a notable 48 per cent. With two thirds (67 per cent) of consumers saying they are more likely to pay attention to an ad if it’s relevant to the content they’re looking at—like reviews or gift ideas. This reinforces the importance of contextually relevant ad placements.
Brand values are key as consumers reward action against inflammatory content, mis-/dis-information
- Likely exacerbated by polarised news and opinions, the majority of survey respondents (68 per cent) are concerned that levels of mis/disinformation are increasing—and brands must be conscious of ad adjacency. In fact, 61 per cent would be less likely to purchase/use the brand again if they saw it advertised next to content that they determined to be mis-/dis-information. In the UK this is 59 per cent.
- The majority of survey respondents (82 per cent) state they have been exposed at some point to mis-/dis-information on social media.
- Brand action on mis-/dis-information will be rewarded with trust from consumers. The majority (69 per cent) value brands that actively fight against mis-/dis-information and the same number (69 per cent) state that companies that are genuine and authentic appeal to them.