Advertising researchers do not fully understand the impact that different ad placements and delivery vehicles have on the mobile user’s experience, according to a paper in the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR).

Kimberly Rose Clark (Dartmouth College), Kenneth Raj Leslie and Matthew L. Tullman (Merchant Mechanics), and Manuel Garcia-Garcia (Ipsos) collected data from the brain and body – including visual fixations, heart rate, skin conductance, and facial affect – to assess attention, engagement and affect toward mobile ads.

“Variations in advertisement placement and delivery on a mobile device changed users’ attention and engagement with respect to advertisements and the content in which the advertisements were embedded,” they argued.

Their paper, How Advertisers Can Keep Mobile Users Engaged and Reduce Video-Ad blocking: Best Practices for Video-Ad Placement and Delivery Based on Consumer Neuroscience Measures, offered more granular insights too.

As a starting point, it addressed the marketing dilemma of consumers using a variety of means to avoid advertising, as well as assessing content in which the advertisements were embedded.

“Disruptive delivery mechanisms” – such as interstitial in-stream advertisements – “elicited a strong negative emotional response,” the authors found.

This outcome, “in turn, worked to reduce brand equity while increasing consumers’ perceived financial utility for advertisement-blocking software.”

And the negative impact of this messaging extended still further: “Disruptive delivery mechanisms also diminished perceptions of the content in which the advertisement units were embedded.”

Pre-roll ads could perhaps be a safer bet, the study indicated: “Pre-roll advertisement units presented prior to content consumption did not interrupt the flow of content consumption.

“[Pre-roll advertising] also elicited more favorable emotional and motivational responses compared with in-stream placement vehicles and participants watched them longer.”

Another benefit of this format was “to enhance brand recall and more favorable perceptions of subsequent content”.

The authors had another valuable tip for brands: “Users likely will not click opt-in advertisement units unless there is an explicit incentive to do so in return for their time. Incentivized advertisements drive high effectiveness.”

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