Context is king in challenging COVID advertising landscape

Posted by Christian Manie On May 07, 2020 Media Releases

New research from Neuro-Insight with IAB Australia finds marketers benefit from transferred equity and goodwill

6th May 2020 – Sydney, Australia:  Timeliness, connection and trust are the most significant context attributes for trusted news environments according to research testing COVID related content released today by IAB Australia and leading neuroscience research firm Neuro-Insight.  The study of over 900 Australians, assessed three different types of news content – hard breaking news, COVID related updates and lifestyle content that is linked to our current COVID lockdown lives – and explored how the attributes of these could help advertising messages take on additional meaning.

The study challenged the notion that advertisers need to develop new creative that directly or indirectly addresses COVID-19.  It found that while it’s important that advertisers are not ‘tone deaf’, that the news environments do some of the heavy lifting for the advertising messages in allowing marketing messages to achieve a certain amount of transferred equity that speaks to messages being “timely”. This can also help with encouraging consumers to take action in relation to the message in a timely manner.

The research will be presented at a free webinar hosted by the IAB today  (Thursday 7th May at 11am).  The full study will be available on the IAB website from Monday 11th May 2020.

According to Gai Le Roy, IAB Australia CEO, with changes in third party cookies and increased privacy regulation around the world, the industry should be actively revisiting the power of context, not to the exclusion of data, but as a bonus super power.

“The importance and value of a thriving credible news environment is coming through loud and clear with increased audience numbers and engagement. Last month we called on marketers to stop blocking advertising on essential news sites and we are now delivering research that provides marketers with proof that ads within news environments not only connect with engaged audiences it allows them to leverage the brand assets of the media environment as well.

“Transferred equity of timeliness, connection and trust would be assets many brands would be seeking.  This research shows that investing in news environments is not only good for society it is a smart brand investment,” said Le Roy.

The study also affirmed that increasing share of voice and having stronger associative factors with a media environment is incredibly powerful and is likely to weaken a competitors attributes.

Peter Pynta, APAC CEO of Neuro-Insight commented: “The way media context influences ads is largely a subconscious process. We intuitively know it’s there, but it’s extremely difficult to articulate and measure through traditional means.  Neuroscience is uniquely suited to capturing and measuring these effects through carefully designed studies which allow us to deliver a routine, objective measurement technique that can examine two crucial dimensions: the medium’s context and its influence on advertising.

“We believe this research can help identify new creative opportunities for marketers that offer an optimised brand fit between advertiser and media environment unlocking increased economic benefits through the advertising investment,” said Pynta.

The research was commissioned by IAB Australia following its call to marketers last month to support news environments that were investing in producing highly valued news and information.

Neuro-Insight is world renowned for its neuroscience research and this study build on top of a large body of research developed over many years by Neuro-Insights.


About the Interactive Advertising Bureau
As an independent industry association with more than 150 members in Australia and nearly 9,000 globally spanning media owners, publishers, technology companies, agencies and advertisers, IAB works to align industry stakeholders to develop solutions for the issues faced by the market and develop standards that are integral to the operation of digital advertising.

IAB Australia also works closely with other industry associations including MFA and AANA to help shape the rules of play around measurement, Australian Digital Ad Practices, mentorship, global tech and policy work, Tech Lab standards, standardising terminology and supporting the broad media and marketing community.

For further information about IAB Australia please contact:

Gai Le Roy
CEO – IAB Australia
T: 0408 431 455

Pru Quinlan
Einsteinz Communications
T: (02) 8905 0995

Christian Manie