Research: CTV ad overexposure harm brands, platforms
July 13, 2023
Repeated ad exposures might not be a new phenomenon, but it doesn’t make the experience any less annoying for viewers, 87 per cent of whom agree that they see too many of the same ads, according to research by media investment and intelligence company MAGNA’s Media Trials unit in partnership with Nexxen, a unified advertising technology platform with a specialisation in video and Connected TV (CTV).
The study, It’s All in the Delivery: How Repeating Ads Affect CTV Viewers, Brands & Platforms, leveraged controlled ad effectiveness testing with 1,246 streaming viewers to learn how they felt about repetitive advertising, which is an outlay of programmatic delivery systems and a focused pool of advertisers.
As part of the study, participants were exposed at varying frequencies – one, four or six exposures – to the same ad during a one-hour viewing session. Ads were provided by two participating brands, including athletic wear brand New Balance. The second participating brand is national restaurant chain Applebee’s.
While participants who saw the same ad six times peaked in awareness at 92 per cent recall, negative associations spiked, too. Viewers who saw the same ad six times said the ad was “annoying” by 48 per cent over average, and “disruptive to their overall experience” by 33 per cent. Overexposure also eroded purchase intent, with a 16 per cent decline among those who viewed an ad six times.
Beyond facilitating a negative viewing experience, repeated ads also had poor implications for both brands and the streaming platform. Among viewers, 83 per cent believed that repeating ads was done intentionally. Furthermore, 68 per cent of viewers believe that it was the brand’s intention to repeat the ad. Streaming platforms are likewise implicated, with 44 per cent of viewers believing that the platform intended to repeat the ad. True or not, these assumptions lend to broader implications, and potentially actions, led by viewers who are not satisfied with their viewing experience.
“Running a spot repeatedly during the same show might improve recall but at what cost? Study participants were clear on how frustrating it was to see the same ad again and again and this cast a shadow over the brand and the streaming network,” notes Kara Manatt, EVP, Intelligence Solutions, MAGNA, which is IPG Mediabrands’ intelligence and investment unit. “Worst of all, advertisers are paying for these declines in purchase intent and simultaneously targeting consumers while turning them off to their brands.”
Additional findings include:
- Positive brand perceptions were hampered by ad frequency, too. For example, brands saw a decline from 25 per cent (1 ad exposure) to 17 per cent (6 ad exposures) in viewers thinking that the brand knows how to connect with them. Additionally, viewers who saw the ad six times were less likely to be excited by the brand (16 per cent) compared to those who only saw the ad once (21 per cent).
- Viewers are willing to take action to avoid ad overkill in various ways, including checking to see if another streaming service offers the show or movie (43 per cent) and going as far as to terminate the subscription (19 per cent). Altogether, 51 per cent said they will take action in response to repeating ads.
- Purchase intent takes a nosedive with higher frequencies of repeated ad exposures, with a 16 per cent decline in intent to purchase for those who saw the same brand ad six times.
“Both advertisers and broadcasters need to get to a place where viewers don’t notice a difference in the quality of the advertising experience on streaming compared to linear,” advises Karim Rayes, Chief Product Officer, Nexxen. Unfortunately, today, many ad servers are not equipped with the ability or are missing the adequate data to unify programmatic and direct demand while managing for frequency,” “The solution lies with platforms that have been purpose-built for CTV, which offers publishers the flexibility to manage their ad breaks in a way that won’t negatively impact the viewer’s experience and saves advertisers from wasting their valuable media dollars.”