IPG Media Lab & Immersion: Touch-enabled technology in video ads leads to a 50% lift in brand favourability

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IPG Media Lab, the creative technology arm of IPG Mediabrands, in partnership with Immersion Corp. announced the results of a scientific media trial examining the impact of touch-enabled advertising created with haptic technology. The resulting report, Ads You Can Feel: The New Mobile Experience, shares best practices, findings and insights on leveraging users’ senses, including sight, sound, motion, and now, touch, to create visceral mobile experiences. Over the course of the study, touch-enabled ads from a wide array of industry sectors, including automotive, hospitality and food & beverage were used to test consumers’ reaction to the experience.

The study of Immersion’s haptic technology, which enables users to feel touch effects on digital devices, found that adding touch to ads increases engagement and users’ sense of connection with a brand. Among the most notable findings is that haptic technology elicits a strong emotional response, particularly increasing levels of happiness and excitement. In the study, a standard video ad achieved happiness and excitement levels of 37% and 30%, respectively. Haptic video advertisements, or TouchSense Ads, saw upticks in both categories at 44% and 38%. Moreover, this outcome created a halo effect on the brand, generating a +6% increase in perceptions that the brand itself is exciting because haptics were added.

“The connection between touch and emotion is universally understood as an innate part of how people perceive the world around them. Using touch in ads shows advertisers how they can leverage this part of the human sensory experience,” said Dmitry Lipkin, senior director, global marketing at Immersion. “By partnering with IPG Media Lab for this media trial, we’re able to demonstrate the advertising value of haptic technology across a variety of sectors, and how brands can leverage this technology to create deeper, more meaningful consumer experiences.”

In an ever-fragmented consumer landscape, brands are still determining how to best leverage technology and enable user interactivity. This served as the key element behind the launch of the media trial, which used seven distinctive ad types across two variant modes (skippable and non-skippable) to measure engagement and connectivity levels of haptic technology.

Leading brands from a range of industry verticals, such as BMW, Royal Caribbean, Arby’s, and Truvia participated in this innovative media trial.

“The results of our trial clearly demonstrate the significance and power of incorporating another sense, specifically touch, in advertising,” said Kara Manatt, SVP, Intelligence Solutions Strategy at MAGNA. “It’s exciting to uncover this unique and innovative technology for our clients, which can provide instrumental value in the mobile ad space.”

Key Highlights Include:

  • Haptic technology creates a more emotional experience, leading to consumers feeling more “excited” and “happy” during ad exposure.
  • Engaging the sense of touch drives a 62% increase in feelings of connection with the advertised brand, which is often very difficult for marketers to do.
  • Ultimately, adding haptics to video ads leads to a 50% lift in brand favorability, which equals 68% cost savings over the cost of increasing brand favorability using ads without haptic technology.
  • Effectiveness of haptics spans across standard demographics, even driving purchase intent among the hard to influence (potential new customers). However, it’s important to note that early tech adopters are especially responsive to ads enabled with touch technology.
  • Best practices for implementing haptics include:
    • Notifying consumers up front that the ad is enabled with touch technology.
    • More specifically, using a notification without branding from the advertiser, so as not to provide an ad prompt before the ad itself has a chance to engage consumers.
    • Don’t overdo it. Less is often more when it comes to this new technology. Don’t overwhelm consumers with overly high levels of haptic feedback.

In conducting the media trial, a total of 1,137 Android users were recruited from a representative online panel and were asked to take a mobile survey. The survey directed participants to a media experience of their choosing, where they were able to view a webpage and watch video content. Each participant was randomized into a test cell that determined what type of pre-roll ad appeared prior to the content. Passive data collection took place during the ad experience, such as completion rates, time in view, etc. Afterwards, participants completed a survey that measured traditional branding metrics and qualitative feedback.

Source: IPG Media Lab

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