Research finds brand building impact of digital advertising underestimated

The most successful digital brand campaigns deliver a brand impact of 3.5 times that of other campaigns

Digital channels are effective at delivering brand impact and more cost efficient than most offline channels, according to a new report. 

The report, The Digital Brand Effect, released by Kantar at IAB Australia’s MeasureUp conference, found the long-term retained brand impacts for digital campaigns are at least on par with those of other media, with 20 per cent of the original brand impact of digital campaigns retained for eight weeks after the original exposure. 

Online video and social and online display were also found to have a higher share of brand impact compared to the share of spend, with the report finding digital touchpoints pay their way back in building key brand building metrics including awareness, brand associations, and motivation. 

While the most successful digital brand campaigns deliver a brand impact of 3.5 times that of other campaigns, success is not driven by increased campaign spend, rather success was found to be driven by designing creative with context in mind, integrating digital campaigns with other media and managing frequencies. 

Online display advertising was found to create meaningful brand differences and build brand associations, with its impact 42 per cent higher than investment.

Online video was found to drive brand motivation with a 30 per cent higher impact than investment. 

The report comes 25 years after the first banner ad was launched.  

IAB Australia CEO, Gai Le Roy, said the narrative that digital advertising is a purely performance media with little long-term brand impact is a complete fallacy. 

“A wide range of respected independent research companies have been able to demonstrate digital does have strong brand building ability over many years,” she said. “The Digital Brand Effect using aggregated results from a large pool of campaigns provides a deeper level of information on how marketers can use a range of digital formats, alongside traditional media, to build long lasting successful brands.”  

The report also confirmed digital advertising is its most effective when it is part of a multimedia campaign, demonstrating strong synergies when differing digital media channels combine, as well as complementing offline media. Up to 45 per cent of digital brand effects are a result of working with other digital or offline media to produce synergistic effects, while up to 22 per cent of digital brand effects are a result of working with other offline media. 

Kantar Australia executive director, media and digital, Mark Henning, said conversations should not be about which advertising formats are the most successful individually because the reality is advertising works best when it’s multi-channel and multi-discipline. 

“As consumer consumption patterns shift and we move into new advertising formats, it will be even more important for marketers to consider the basic tenets of advertising best practice and to actively implement campaigns that are multimedia to ensure optimum brand outcomes,” he said. 

 The Digital Brand Effect report also found brand ROI for online video improving 144 per cent for brand salience over the last eight years, and social reporting brand ROI improving 90 per cent for brand motivation. These increases reflect the adoption and reach of the formats, underpinned by improved ad units with better integration, new feature and user experience.  

The Digital Brand Effect report analysed the brand impact delivered by digital and other media based on over 145 Australian Kantar Cross Media Brand Effectiveness studies, over 1300 Global Kantar Cross Media studies, and 14,500 Global Kantar Digital Brand Lift studies. 

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