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Ad recall stronger in premium news media

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Advertisements in premium news media have a higher rate of recall among consumers than those found on social media, a new study from Newsworks UK and the Association for Online Publishing has found.

The neurological study found that memory retention of the words and details of an advertisement was 42 per cent on premium editorial sites compared to the same material presented on social media.

Premium environments also rated higher than social media for emotional memory retention, at 9 per cent more.

Social media benefited from high levels of immediate attention but readers failed to convert this to long term memory to the same extent.

Advertisements encountered during free browsing online was shown to perform considerably less than both premium environment and social media.

Overall, advertisements viewed in premium environments elicit stronger and more positive responses from readers.

Newsworks CEO Vanessa Clifford said that “premium editorial sites provide that highly valuable context”.

“We already knew that context was important for digital ad performance – now we know that it is because the brain processes ads differently depending on where they are encountered.

“It’s not enough to find the right audience, people need to see ads in an environment that is conducive to memory encoding if we are to build brands longer term and maximise effectiveness.”

The findings suggested that presenting an advertisement with a combination of premium editorial spaces and social media was the most holistic way to create a positive overall brand impression, with better memory encoding.

Conducted by Neuro-Insights, the study measured the brain’s reactions to three key metrics, long term memory encoding, engagement and emotional intensity using Steady State Topography (SST) to measure the electrical activity of the brain.

Participants’ brain responses were individually measured and behaviour recorded using a video camera, after which researchers were able to determine the responses of the left and right sides.

The left side processes memory encoding focused on words and detail, while the right processes emotional responses.

The same advertisements were presented in different online contexts on the device participants would usually use.

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