Member Research: Campaign overexposure has negative impact on branding performance

This week, IAB Europe member Sublime announced the results of its research into campaign efficiency versus exposure frequency, and found the less time a consumer is exposed to an ad campaign, the more effective it is for brand recall.

The research studies, which were conducted with several of Sublime’s advertisers, evaluated the benefits of capping unique impressions on a campaign, to understand the point at which exposure repetition has a negative effect on branding performance.

Cap Brand Exposure at Three Views

Sublime’s research found spontaneous brand awareness increased +6% when the consumer was exposed to an ad two to three times, while more than four exposures proved less efficient with a -3% rate in awareness. With aided brand awareness the research found only one exposure was sufficient (+8%) in contrast to a -23% awareness rate which occurred when the consumer was exposed to the ad 10 or more times.

When looking at campaign recall, the study found that when a consumer was exposed to a campaign just once, recall increased by +26%, which was then reduced to +6% after ten exposures. The report revealed that two or three exposures are optimal for increasing both brand familiarity and favourability, which increases +4% and +7% respectively.

Don’t Overtly Disrupt

Estelle Reale, Global Marketing Director at Sublime, commented: “The findings of these studies reinforce the sentiment that bombarding users with ads isn’t the right strategy. Successful digital ad campaigns should not overtly disrupt the consumer’s browsing experience in an intrusive way. Repeat exposure is still extremely important, but overexposure could result in negative brand performance. Our research highlights that to truly engage with today’s consumers, brands should look to cap unique impressions on a campaign to improve its overall effectiveness.”

When measuring the success of Sublime’s ad units against a matched control group, aided brand awareness increased by +5pts with 77% of exposed respondents knowing the brand. Similarly, unaided awareness saw a +6pts increase. The report also revealed that brand familiarity, favourability, and purchase intent increased by +7pts, +8pts, and +7pts respectively.

Encouraging Engagement

Marc Rouanet, co-founder & CEO at Sublime added: “Our high-impact, engaging ad formats are designed to enhance the user experience rather than disrupt it. The results demonstrated here show that this creates greater engagement from users and subsequently better performance for advertisers and publishers.”

About Sublime

Sublime creates and delivers ad experiences that activate, captivate and inspire digital audiences at scale. It offers a high-impact marketplace where market-leading technology is combined with a creative-first approach; Sublime simplifies the delivery of premium, non-intrusive digital ad formats that elevate brand equity, drive results, and enhance the user experience. It is committed to breaking the mould in creative innovation, while delivering the highest level of service and support.Founded in 2012, the Paris-based company has offices in London, Düsseldorf, New York, Madrid, Milan and Singapore, and delivers direct and programmatic advertising campaigns across the globe.

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About the methodology

These results are based on over 15 brand uplift studies conducted by Sublime in partnership with Dynata. As a single-source provider of first-party data, supplied by people who opt-in to digital ads and cookies, Dynata identifies consumers who have been exposed to the client’s media campaigns and monitors for passive exposure to the digital media for consumers that fit the campaign’s targets. These results are compared to a control sample to measure the efficiency of the campaign and the uplift of several branding KPIs such as brand awareness, campaign recall, brand opinion and familiarity.


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