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Every week, a new article is published about the number of users who block or otherwise find ways to ignore advertisements. While advertisers can prioritize bidding into verifiably viewable inventory to ensure their ad is seen, the quest for captivating audiences doesn’t stop there.

If a campaign successfully reaches an intended individual, will their recollection of the message be positive, or will they be annoyed? The answer relies on a number of factors.

Indeed, more often than not, individuals remember ads for the wrong reasons:

  • 28% remember ads they’ve “seen too many times”
  • 21% remember ads that are “not at all relevant” to them
  • 19% remember ads for things they’ve already purchased
  • 14% remember ads that made them feel like they were being stalked

To avoid these pitfalls, there are a number of best practices marketers can follow.

Addressing Message Exhaustion
First, to avoid the issue of exhausting users with the same ad, marketers who are running a high frequency campaign must employ creative variants. In the case of video ads, there is often a temptation to open with the same bumper for each variation.

However, this method may lead users to recognize and then tune out the message before the variation has ever had time to play. In this sense, using different audio cues in the first few seconds is key in breaking the negative recall cycle.

For animated display units, a variation in the opening animation or messaging may be called for. The ads can still close with the core message of the campaign to ensure overarching consistency, but the key here is ensuring the majority of the ad experience feels fresh.

Addressing Relevance
When individuals are shown ads for things they’re either not interested in or have already purchased, advertisers have a relevance issue to address. To this end, contextual targeting is key. Does the user actually exhibit behaviors that suggest they are interested in a given product, or is an assumption being made based on generalized segments the person falls into? Even if this data is available, how old is it? If the individual was showing express interest in an item 3 days ago but since stopped searching for it, was it because of a change in opinion, a need to remarket, or an indicator that they purchased the item already? Marketers and DSPs who can’t answer these questions can’t ensure that ads are delivered in a relevant way.

Why is this important? When ads are relevant to the individual in the moment, they are apt to be recalled for the right reasons. For instance:

  • 22% remember ads that were personalized to their interests
  • 8% remember ads that were helpful based on their location
  • 8% remember ads that were helpful in the moment

Granted, the number of individuals who remember ads for the right reasons is smaller than the number who recall ads for the wrong reasons. For marketers, this means there is much room for improvement. Those who embrace this philosophy and revitalize their campaigns with relevant messaging delivered at the right time will drive the right kind of brand recall. Those who don’t . . . won’t.