How ad placement affects brand perception

Whether or not a brand meant for its ad to end up on a site, it still affects the way viewers perceive it.

The content your ad gets placed beside affects your return, according to a new study.

Digital ad verification service Integral Ad Science issued its new study, the “Ripple Effect,” which looks at how consumer attitudes and the likelihood to engage with brands depends on where digital ads are placed.

Although programmatic ad placement can create a sense of ad and content pairings being “random” in nature, consumers can still be troubled when they see ads next to controversial or low-quality content. In recent years, self-style watchdog groups such as Sleeping Giants have cropped up to spread awareness of brands whose ads have ended up on alt-right sites like Breitbart, even if they weren’t purchased directly – resulting in many brands blacklisting such sites.

That’s a wise move according to Integral’s study, which reveals that 84% of Canadians do consider the quality of content ads are paired against to be important. Additionally, more than half (55%) of consumers are more likely to engage with ads that are surrounded by high-quality content.

That attitude is common across the globe; France, the U.S. and Japan also show an inclination toward brands that appear next to high-quality content. The inverse is also true; almost nine in 10 Canadians (88%) are annoyed when ads appear next to low-quality content, and only 14% are likely to engage with an online ad when they come across it in such a setting.

It can also have an effect on brand reputation and appeal. More than half (53%) of Canadians say they feel less favourable about brands after seeing their ads in low-quality settings, and 63% report that they would stop using those brands all together.

IAS also used advanced biometric analysis on study participants around the world. It found that ads viewed in high-quality mobile web environments were 74% more likable and drove 30% higher memorability.