LONDON: Ads that rely on the persuasiveness of their creative rather than the intrusiveness of the ad unit have more success, as both user behaviour and increasingly sophisticated programmatic drive a new conception of online effectiveness.

Writing in an article for WARC, Jane Ostler, Managing Director for media and digital at Kantar Millward Brown, urges marketers to push for solid brand-building over cheap media.

"Do you know what your campaign is doing for your brand?" asks Ostler, "advertisers are waking up to brand safety issues and the importance of ensuring their ads appear in appropriate contexts."

Ostler outlines six steps that can make online display and video advertising more effective and this starts with marketers receiving guarantees that they are paying for human eyes, not bot eyes.

Once it is guaranteed that the campaign is reaching an audience, determining the expected behavioural outcome is essential.

"You need to earn the right to consumers' attention," Ostler adds. "Even the best ads lose most of their audience in the first 10 seconds, so aim to hook viewers early by cutting to the chase and generating intrigue."

Meanwhile, in a context of skippable ads, "boost receptivity and fight back against ad-blocking by giving back a bit of control." This means offering options, such as playing the ad with the sound off.

In addition, Ostler examines how behaviour differs across the variety of devices through which consumers access the internet, and suggests adapting messaging with these differences in mind.

"While laptop use is more goal-orientated, smartphones are often used to overcome boredom, so the user is typically more receptive to content which is entertaining and interactive."

Marketers are reminded to take a holistic view across all media touchpoints to ensure consistency across brand experience, brand promise and purpose.

Elsewhere, Ostler asks whether programmatic is being used to its full potential, as the trading practice continues to receive intense scrutiny. Yet doing this involves marketers treating programmatic as more than a fad.

"Having the right research and evaluation tools, such as near-real-time dashboards which allow marketers to optimise campaigns in flight, is essential to provide valuable data such as reach and frequency, viewability, consumer attitude and sales data.

"However, it is equally, if not more important, to have the expertise to interpret this data in order to provide actionable insights."

Data sourced from WARC