British consumers are more likely to purchase from brands and recommend them to others once they have been served relevant, native ads rather than traditional display ads, a new survey has found.

According to Oath, the digital tech firm owned by Verizon, at least a quarter (26%) of consumers in the UK are more likely to recommend brands they have seen in native ads, while 15% are more likely to consider a purchase from them, compared to display ads.

Oath reached this conclusion after working with research firm Sparkler to question more than 6,000 people in the UK, France and Germany for their study that involved behavioural and implicit association tests.

The research found that native formats triggered greater subconscious reaction in UK consumers, with the result that there was a 10% lift in positive brand associations compared to traditional display.

This positive subconscious reaction was also found to be more significant for participants who viewed native content on mobile, leading to a 28% increase in positive reaction over traditional display ads.

Still looking at mobile, the Oath report asserted that “native blends especially well on mobile”, which it said increased overall mobile page engagement by 21%.

Elsewhere, British consumers were found to be 20% more likely to feel that mobile makes content looks more natural on the page, while premium websites were 23% more likely to deliver brand impact across both mobile and desktop.

However, not all native ads have the same impact, the report added, after noting that in-feed native ads delivered greater viewing and brand impact compared to native ads at the bottom of the page.

According to the survey and tests, in-feed native ads doubled the average time spent in view, while recording a brand advocacy score of more than 11% and raising positive subconscious association by more than 35%.

Commenting on the findings, Anna Watkins, managing director of Oath UK, said: “Native ads have continued to present themselves as a winning format in the industry worldwide.

“Newer formats that deliver impactful and engaging experiences in digital environments are as powerful a proposition for brand-building as they are for conversion.”

Sourced from Oath; additional content by WARC staff