In 2018, Unruly launched a pro bono charity ad campaign in Sweden to help The Red Cross, the global charity dedicated to supporting communities around the world when crisis strikes.
The ad campaign was designed to generate awareness among donors, increase support of humanitarian causes and compassionate values. The charity also wanted the campaign to generate new leads to grow future donations.
Harnessing the power of emotional data
The Red Cross partnered with Unruly to harness the power of emotional data and targeting, to ensure the ad campaign was as effective as it could be.
The charity produced three videos which evoked emotions of sadness, pride and warm-heartedness. Audiences also said they felt informed when watching the videos.
The intended audience was urbanites aged 25 and over. In order to reach this audience, the brand used Unruly’s proprietary targeting tool UnrulyEQ to test the videos and find the most engaged audience (bullseye group) to target and increase the core key performance indicators.
The ad was then targeted at the bullseye audiences and distributed at scale across our Premium Publisher Network. The video players were customised with bespoke brand bars and sharing buttons to boost brand recall and interactions.
Smashing the campaign results
The results were extraordinary. The campaign delivered an amazing 279,769 full completed video views!
What’s more, with the use of the custom audience targeting (building the audience with the most intense emotional response to the video) the campaign achieved an extra 90,000 completed views. The UnrulyEQ Customer Audience targeting video also achieved an uplift click-through rate of more than 28% and more than 10% uplift in average time spent with the video.
The campaign over delivered by of 3%, which resulted in 7,042 views in added media value and brand awareness. The total completion rate for both films was 51.25% which is a great result in comparison to our benchmark. Viewability scored 73.30%, beating MOATs industry benchmark in Sweden of 59.3%. The campaign delivered a total of 3,246 hours spent with the brand!
The Red Cross was extremely impressed with the results which hit all of its campaign objectives and smashed expectations!
“Unruly was quick to understand the needs of our charity ad campaign. Through both analysis and optimisation, Unruly contributed to an increase in engagement and distribution of Red Cross material. The Unruly custom analysis and the emotional data targeting generated increased donations to the Red Cross. This was valuable in helping us hit specific campaign goals and in generating insights which will help to inform our future communication strategy.”
Huawei is a leading global provider of information and communications technology infrastructure and smart devices. With integrated solutions across four key areas; telecom networks, IT, smart devices, and cloud services.
Unruly started working with Huawei on global video campaigns in 2015. Since then, 19 campaigns have been distributed across 10 markets in Europe, Asia and North America.
The power of environment
UnrulyX helped Huawei to grow its brand, and ensure it communicated the right messages to the right audience, by delivering more than 15 million views to high profile premium publishers and brand safe environments.
At Unruly, we know that the environment of an ad is extremely important. The content that your ad sits next to can greatly affect how it’s perceived. Studies prove that ads delivered in premium environments produce greater levels of engagement and long-term memory encoding among consumers, compared to ads on other sites.
Harnessing the power of emotional data and targeting
In 2018 Huawei launched ‘The All New Huawei P20’ campaign in Singapore, and created a number of ads which evoked the emotions of amazement and inspiration.
Huawei’s campaign aimed to encourage engagement and drive completion rates of its video within a niche audience. To achieve this, it partnered with Unruly to harness the power of emotional data and targeting.
UnrulyX private marketplaces seeded the ad in premium, contextually relevant sites. UnrulyX private marketplaces are made up of groups of premium publishers which resonate with a campaign’s target audience.
A 30-second version of the Huawei’s P20 ad was distributed at scale across Unruly’s Premium Publisher Network.
The campaign delivered an outstanding 1,266,864 full completed views of the 30-second video.
The completion rate was 71% exceeding our benchmark of 55.46%.
The MOAT viewability rate was 75%, which was well above the benchmark of 58.8%.
15,384 viewers interacted with the ad, and there 11,592 clicked through to the website.
Jan Harling, Global Media Investment Director at Huawei had this to say about our partnership:‘Unruly has been a strategic partner we have cooperated with on various campaigns on a global level. They are not only extremely proactive and supportive to deliver more than just views, but also offer support and creative advice that helps to elevate our efforts to the next level.’
Check out the UnrulyX and Huawei video case study.
At ATS London on 10 September, 2018, Ronan Shields, staff writer AdWeek, moderated a panel discussion on the mechanics of publisher monetisation.
He was joined by Karen Eccles, director of digital sales and innovation at The Telegraph; Damon Reeve, CEO, The Ozone Project; Jason Trout, EMEA MD, Unruly; and Jourdain Casale, VP of global intelligence at Index Exchange.
You can watch the full panel below which covers new marketplaces, PMPs versus programmatic and publisher monetization opportunities.
In AdExchanger’s latest podcast, Unruly Media CEO Norm Johnston talks about the evolution of video ads – how they’re bought, how they’re sold and who gets to sell them.
“Nothing against Facebook or Google, but most people would agree they shouldn’t be upwards of 70% of the total industry and 90% of the growth in digital”
Norm talks about how Unruly aims to provide high-quality audiences outside the high-gravity orbits of Google and Facebook.
“Nothing against Facebook or Google, but most people would agree they shouldn’t be upwards of 70% of the total industry and 90% of the growth in digital,” Johnston says. “Most advertisers and agencies are looking to diversify their portfolios.”
The conversation also turned to what UnrulyEQ can do for advertisers. “A lot of advertisers have these wonderful creative agencies that like to win awards and produce beautiful four-minute videos to do that,” Johnston says. “But it doesn’t quite work in programmatic environments and online where you have shorter attention spans … We will find parts of videos that resonate the most strongly. You can cut it up by segment, to target different individuals with different parts of a video that resonate with those groups. If advertisers have a predefined segmentation model with first-party data, it complements that.”
Earlier this month our Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships APAC Greg Fournier, and P&G’s Associate Brand Director Dominique Touchaud took to the stage at FUTR’s Asia Summit in Singapore. They delivered a brilliant presentation on the role of culture in advertising, and how it can define success or failure in marketing campaigns in Asia.
The presentation was delivered to a packed room, and the pair received great feedback from a number of audience members on their theories, insights and examples.
Over the next few paragraphs we’ve pulled out some of the key messages and takeaways from their presentation, with a number of ad examples, including one of our all time favourite ads from HSBC.
Why does culture matter?
Culture is informed by a society’s customs and traditions. It’s revealed through a society’s artistic and intellectual achievements, and is maintained by a series of behavioural codes passed down from generation to generation.
Paying attention to culture in advertising is extremely important for brands that work on a global scale, especially if your brand is working in markets that are culturally different to where they are based. Messages, symbols, rituals and even colours can have significantly different meanings and messages across cultures.
We’ll let HSBC break it down for you…
Head & Shoulders in Israel
P&G did a great job of leveraging culture in their 2015 campaign for Head & Shoulders that ran in Israel. In the Jewish tradition before Passover, Jews search their homes for any crumbs of bread which, according to tradition, must be eliminated. By leveraging this insight P&G made the search for flakes of dandruff a new addition to the tradition!
They did this by sponsoring Passover kits, which included Head & Shoulders samples, and made them available for free. P&G achieved a seamless brand association which fitted both the cultural moment and the brand truth. After this campaign market share for the shampoo grew 35% year-on-year. As a result, sales of Head & Shoulders in Israel have remained high as consumers recognise the purpose of the product and become familiar with using it as part of their daily routines!
Storks and peaches
The above is a great example of how P&G used cultural knowledge to grow sales. There have however been times when the company has got it wrong. One famous campaign which P&G ran for Pampers in the mid-1970s completely flopped in Japan as the nappy brand hadn’t paid attention to the country’s culture. The ad in question saw a stork fly through the air to deliver nappies to a mum.
While the image of a stork delivering newborn children is understood in the US and Europe, it’s not a universal idea. Unfortunately for P&G, the idea of storks delivering babies doesn’t exist in Japan. Instead Japanese folklore tells of newborns arriving courtesy of a giant peach floating down the river, which seems a far safer method than stork-powered air travel. Peaches, not storks, bring the babies in Japan, and consumers responded by ignoring the ad.
Seeing things differently
Assumptions about different cultures vary greatly depending on where in the world you’re from. In one study a group of people from Japan and Mexico were asked what they thought of Americans. The Japanese said they were relaxed, friendly, spontaneous, uninhibited, emotional and impulsive. The Mexicans said they were hurried, serious, reserved, restrained, composed and methodical. Researching your target market is extremely important before you run an ad campaign. Even if you think you know about the market you are targeting.
Another thing to remember when looking at different cultures is that their perceptions of the world and what they see can vary vastly. This can be seen through the Michigan Fish test (yes, this is an actual thing). Take a look at this image…
How would you describe it?
Americans referred to the attributes of the target fish saying they saw; ‘three big fish heading left’. The Japanese referred to the background and contextual information as well as the target fish attributes saying; ‘there is a pond where you see some seaweed, there are big and small bass swimming, and a small frog and snail are at the bottom. This test shows the broad spectrum of interpretations that are possible when they’re shaped by culture.
Unruly recently partnered with Mediacom to carry out research around culture connections to reveal insight into the national psyche that underpins consumer attitudes. We categorised the research into nine dimensions, split between how people feel and how people act. This research allows us to see the correlation between emotions and culture in advertising.
If we look at the ‘Identity’ dimension as an example, it measures the strength of a nation’s self-image. ‘Fixed’ societies have very clear identities rooted in tradition; they see no reason to change or evolve. Examples include Venezuela and Colombia. ‘Flexible’ countries, however, are always looking to adapt and improve. They might have traditional values, but they are interested in moving with the times. Examples include Japan and Taiwan.
1 Cannes Winner… 3 Territories
Our UnrulyEQ team recently analysed the following P&G Libresse Blood ad which was a winner at this year’s Cannes Lions festival, in order to discover how it resonated with audiences. Take a look at the ad and think about how it makes you feel.
By looking at the correlation between emotion and culture the team found that because the UK has an individualistic culture. One of the overriding emotions when people watched it was of confusion as the ad is based around a collective of women battling against their body. For many women in the UK this is not an issue, and not something that they would necessarily talk about or embrace with others.
However, in collective cultures like India and Singapore, the ad evokes emotions of inspiration and pride as the message and feeling of collectiveness resonates with women from these cultures. How did you feel when watching this ad? Do you think the emotions you felt reflect the culture you live in? It’s important to remember that even the best videos in the world don’t always perform well across borders. Although Libresse Blood was a Cannes Gold Lion winner, it had very different emotional responses in UK, India and Singapore.
Emotions are often informed by culture and as we know, emotions drive engagement, brand recall, and purchase intent. Understanding and quantifying culture in advertising helps to define the relevant emotional palette a brand can use with a particular audience.
What have we learnt?
The interplay of cultural dimensions in advertising is hugely complex!
Ads can perform very differently even in cultures which are perceived to be more or less similar.
Never assume – examine for cultural resonance on an ad-by-ad basis.
We’ll leave you with an ad from Vicks that was one of our favourites from last year, which really illustrates the emotional and cultural learnings on India.
Many say premium publishers have been disintermediated from their audiences by programmatic buying and selling. However, since GDPR landed, browsers have clamped down on 3rd party cookies and initiatives like ads.txt and ads.cert have taken a hold. The practices adopted by the buy side to find premium audiences are being challenged and publishers are very much back in the driving seat.
At our Unruly Trust Talks: The Great Programmatic Debate coming up in the UK, we decided to take a look back at last month’s one in New York where Unruly COO Kenneth Suh spoke to Chris Guenther, Global head of programmatic at NewsIQ, Brendan Cleary, VP of Programmatic Sales at The Guardian, and Rachel Tuffney, Head of Financial Vertical Sales at Dow Jones, to find out their thoughts on this matter.
Has programmatic changed your business for better or for worse?
Rachel Tuffney (RT): For us at Dow Jones, programmatic is an enabler. We always have to go back to what the consumer wants. When programmatic first started out it was all about ad networks and cheap CPMs. It has evolved so drastically now, and with the application of AI, I think there is a lot of opportunity. Having worked for publishers for the past 20 years, I really think this is an exciting time for our industry. In the past six months there’s been more change than there has in the past five years!
Chris Guenther (CG): I think from the client perspective it’s great. It has given them the ability to manage campaigns more seamlessly across multiple publishers, and get the results in a cohesive manner. I’m not saying it’s perfect, but if you think through what digital is supposed to be about (accountability and ease of transaction) then programmatic is helping the industry to achieve this.
Brendan Cleary (BC): I think it has changed for the better. Granted there are some issues, however there are no other industries that enable businesses to monetise on sold inventory as seamlessly as we are able to do now.
Kenneth Suh (KS): What we’ve noticed at Unruly, within the world of programmatic advertising, is that sometimes it seems like it levels the playing field. This means there is a premium to be paid for premium publishers pre-programmatic. One of the growing issues we see is where buyers have a block list and as long as you’re not on the block list your content is seen as fine. This can devalue your property in a way that you may not have wanted it to.
What issues do you see premium publishers who invest lots of money and time in maintaining a level of premium content for their audiences facing?
RT: From our perspective, The Wall Street Journal has been a membership site since 1997 so for us we’ve always had a different revenue stream coming in. The data we collect and offer from a first party perspective is extremely valuable. We have a very wealthy audience, and everybody wants to be in front of that audience. As a result there is a premium associated with that.
I oversee the financial services which is a very select audience for brands to try and get in front of. It’s also not just about being in front of audiences. There’s also huge value in being associated with premium brands. Being aligned and partnered with The Wall Street Journal has a lot of value.
CG: When programmatic first started, everyone bought into impressions and that’s why it didn’t matter about the exchange. As long as you had the lowest CPM and you got a good number of impressions people were happy.
Now that there are so many complex insights and measurement tools, people have realised that although their impressions are high, it doesn’t mean that their ads are being shown to the right people. Brands are also now concerned about ads being shown in environments that they don’t want to be associated with.
With new tools we are able to start to understand more about audiences. It’s still not perfect but it is moving in the right direction. I think that that’s why we are seeing high DSP in premium environments. With the combination of premium content and a good site experience you definitely get a better result than just not really caring where your ad ends up.
How are we going to make programmatic easier for people?
RT: There is so much going on within the programmatic space. With so many different companies working independently, it’s difficult to know where the real issues lie. If we want to improve programmatic we all need to start working together better.
CG: First of all there’s the complexity of the adtech stack. There are players within the ecosystem who thrive based on the complexity and based on the lack of transparency. So how do we remove these players? Ultimately the people with the most influence on the buy side who are the ones with all the money. They need to choose the right path and the right partners. We can then start to remove some of those bad players.
However, you need to be careful when simplifying your adtech stack as it could mean that you are working with a player who has too much influence in the market. One that is very much focused on black box, and not having a fair auction process. We need to figure out how to find the middle ground between too much complexity and too little complexity.
How do you view Google, Facebook and Amazon, and how do they fit in with how you run a successful business?
CG: As a publisher it’s our responsibility to not be complacent and not just go with the easiest partners. If you are primarily working with these companies you need to be monitoring them and their services, and understanding how they are affecting your business and the wider industry.
BC: I think businesses just need to make sure they are working with a variety of different companies and services. Putting all your eggs in one basket means that a change in an algorithm could end your business!
Recent growth of audience targeting and programmatic implementation has downgraded the importance of environment as the focus for advertising placement. However, we believe that the value of environment in advertising is still an extremely important factor to consider when you are planning an ad campaign.
Recently there has not been much of a focus on the importance of environment in advertising. However there have been a number of independent studies that show the value of context in digital environments on a number of key business and brand measures.
The importance of context
Before we dive into the importance of context in advertising we need to understand how context affects the way we perceive information.
“Information is not processed neutrally. We are swayed by contextual cues.” – Richard Shotton, Deputy Head of Evidence at MG OMD
Take a look at these symbols…
To most people when they look at the above symbols together they read ‘THE CAT’. However if you look closely you can actually see that the same symbol is used for the ‘H’ in ‘THE’ as the ‘A’ in ‘CAT’. Most people can’t tell this on first glance as our brains immediately see ‘THE CAT’ as we try to make sense of the symbols. This exercise demonstrates the impact that context has on our perception of information.
Original beats social
“Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.” – Andrew Davies, Marketing Keynote Speaker
In 2012 AOP and comScore carried out a study to discover levels of trust among consumers. They found that 30% of consumers trusted publishers on social networks. Compared to 60% who trusted publishers on original content sites. Furthermore they found that only 23% of consumers trusted advertising they saw on social networks. While 45% of consumers trusted advertising they saw on original content sites.
The study also found that original content sites saw a 23% uplift over social networks in the usage of branded search terms. Consumers were also 153% more likely to visit an advertiser’s site after seeing their ad on an original content site, compared to social networks.
These results all point to the overwhelming fact that advertising on original contentsites is measurably more effective versus other online media in delivering on all levels of the purchase cycle. From awareness all the way through to making a purchase.
So, where does the market stand on trust?
We ran a study in 2018 to find out how consumer trust has changed. We found that 43% of consumers say their trust in advertising on social media has fallen over the past year. 61% of consumers believe that more than 50% of the information they read on social media is fake.
These figures are not surprising given the amount of negative press that has surrounded social networks over the past year. Including the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook scandal, brands boycotting YouTube due to their ads being displayed alongside inappropriate content, and the rise in fake news appearing on social networks.
The study also found that trust amongst consumers was 68% higher for information that appears on newspaper sites compared to social media. Reinforcing the fact that consumers still believe that premium environments offer higher credibility.
Why are premium environments still so effective?
As people aren’t aware of the way in which context impacts their perceptions, it can be hard to articulate why premium environments are so effective. However, removing explicit and conscious responses can give us a greater understanding of their impact.
In 2018 Newsworks ran a study by gathering data from consumers brains when they viewed ads in different environments. We created the below graph from the data they collected in order to show how ads in premium environments produce greater levels of engagement and long-term memory encoding amongst consumers compared to ads on social networks.
As we’ve seen, rather than just serving your ad to the right person, with the right message, at the right time, you also need to consider that it’s in the right place. It’s an overused phrase, but context is still king and the value of environment in advertising is still extremely important. With trust being at the forefront of consumer’s minds, especially when it comes to social media, it’s important to consider which environment you decide to post your ad on as it could make or break an advertising campaign.
To find out more about the importance of trust and environment in advertising, and to discover our unique emotional testing and targeting capabilities, exclusive premium inventory and industry-leading brand safety certifications, head over to our advertisers page or get in touch with one of our team filling in your details on our contact us page.
With major browsers phasing out Flash in favour of JS VPAID (aka HTML5) and Google announcing Flash videos will no longer run through its DoubleClick suite of products after July 3, it’s fair to say the video ad tech industry is currently undergoing massive change.
Key takeaway here? Simply use JS VPAID wherever possible moving forward. (more…)
The team at Guidesify – a leading lifestyle site in Singapore – is so impressed by the level of service they receive from Unruly they felt motivated to write a review of our platform, UnrulyX.
Guidesify chose Unruly as its ‘preferred choice of CPM Network over the mainstream juggernauts like Google and Yahoo due to (our) flexibility, ease of integration and attractive CPM rates.’