NEW YORK: Marketers could achieve an “alignment boost” through gaining a deeper understanding of the interaction between content, ads and consumer emotions, according to a paper in the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR).

Horst Stipp, EVP/research and innovation at the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF), discussed this topic in How Context Can Make Advertising More Effective, an extension of the trade body’s How Advertising Works program.

“Advertisers have been quite successful with endemic alignments, such as commercials featuring an athlete shown during a football game or food advertisements on a cooking website,” he argued.

Aligning ads with content, he continued, can “boost advertisement performance significantly” and “diminish advertisement avoidance”. But Stipp suggested there are opportunities to secure a further “alignment boost”.

“Exploring deeper emotional alignments ... may be of particular value: Tapping into several emotions that drive the interest in the content – why the consumer loves a specific sport and how he or she feels about the athletes, for example – can connect content, advertisement and brand with consumers’ emotions on a deeper level and thereby enhance the advertisement’s impact,” Stipp wrote.

Fuller knowledge of the context in which a message is delivered can help marketers address the target audience’s attitudes and emotions, he asserted.

“If marketers understand their specific targets’ affinity to the content with which their consumers engage, as well as the role of other contexts – such as other media platforms, time and place – there are real opportunities to enhance the effectiveness of advertising messages,” Stipp wrote.

He said that “gaining extra attention for an advertisement” is an essential step. “As a second step to improve advertisement performance, the author recommends considering making an emotional or cognitive connection among the target consumer, the advertisement’s creative elements and the brand,” he stated.

Building on this theme, he outlined two prospective tactics, the first of which involves finding “contexts (including content) that align with the advertisement, the brand and the campaign objectives”.

Additionally, he proposed that brands should “create advertisements that provide a particularly good fit with the context, the content and the target’s emotional or cognitive state”.

Sourced from Journal of Advertising Research; additional content by WARC staff