Size matters, but screen clutter matters more in ad effectiveness

Joseph O'Halloran | 18-09-2012

One would expect a direct correlation between screen size and ad effectiveness but a new survey from YuMe and IPG Media Lab has revealed that clutter and other variables actually matter even more
In its advertising effectiveness survey with IPG, the digital brand advertising software and services provider measured emotional response, attention, and self-reported unaided recall by users across all four screens - connected TV, linear TV, PCs, and smartphones. Whilst the size of the video screen was key in driving excitement, ad clutter, creative content, and context had a much stronger influence on ad recall by viewers.

YuMe believes that this is a crucial time to measure such phenomena, stating that consumer ownership of video-playing devices nearly doubled from 2000 to 2012, meaning an increase from 1.97 devices per person in 2000, versus 3.96 per person in 2012.
The upshot says YuMe is that advertisers are faced with more platform choices for effectively reaching their audience, and that they are faced with crucial questions as to whether all screens are created equal.
“In today’s fully-mediated world, the need for both marketers and media companies to understand how content and consumer attention function across screens is more important than ever,” said Brian Monahan, managing partner, Magna Global Intelligence, the insights and investment unit of IPG Mediabrands.
Added Ed Haslam, senior vice president of marketing, YuMe: “Consumer attention is fragmented across screens amid a dizzying array of content, and viewing habits differ by time of day. This year’s study takes these factors into account and finds that clutter-free ad environments give advertisers the greatest ROI, regardless of screen size. What’s more, connected TV-essentially TV ‘without the clutter’-yields strong viewer attentiveness, emotion and recall, and represents a prime opportunity for ad breakthrough.”
In a call to action, YuMe advises that media buyers and planners create clutter-free environments, regardless of screen size and that advertisers without media budgets for high gross rating point (GRP) TV campaigns should consider moving to screens with less ad clutter to ensure campaign breakthrough. On the basis that it believes that prime-time for linear and connected TV is also the peak time for second-screen usage, YuMe adds that planners and buyers should consider buying placements across devices during this day part when planning for duplication.