Value Exchange Advertising: More Valuable Than Ever

We’re interrupted constantly. As consumers in the digital age, we run into interruptive marketing everywhere we go, and many of us have become professional ad avoiders. Our eyes know exactly where the X button is on annoying pop up ads, we swipe instinctively through ads between Instagram stories, and we pound the “skip ad” button on YouTube the moment it pops up.

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First-party data and large scale micro-targeting have made massive strides in recent years, but even when an ad is perfectly catered to someone’s interests, consumers hate the interruption.

So what’s the fix? How do premium brands showcase their newest products to the consumers they care about, on consumers’ terms?

One solution is value exchange advertising.

The IAB defines value exchange ads as premium ads that offer consumers something of value, like an extra life in an app, in exchange for their time and attention. Instead of interrupting consumers, brands build their ad around the experience a consumer is already having. This ensures the brand is effectively rewarding the consumer for watching their ad in a currency relevant to them.

That currency could be 30 minutes of ad-free listening on Spotify, free wifi at an airport, or 50 gold coins in Subway Surfers.

79% of consumers said they prefer opt-in advertising over every other ad format while 71% of US mobile app users report that value exchange ads capture their attention more than any other type of advertising, according to research by the IAB and eMarketer. Consumers prefer value exchange ads over other ad formats for two reasons; because they’re the only ads that dole out relevant rewards and because the consumer opted in to view the ad.

When a consumer consciously chooses to engage with an ad, they give the brand their attention. Likewise, the brand doesn’t have to compete with other distractions since ads play full screen. This results in higher engagement and higher click through rates; it turns out consumers will repay you for valuing their time and attention.

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And it’s not just consumers who love value exchange ads. Almost 62% of developers said video ads with rewards increased or stabilized user retention, according to Wall Street Journal. Value exchange ads work especially well in mobile games, since most games have currencies built in to the app.

As the era of interruptive advertising draws to a close, brands are looking to gain more control over their ad experiences. Consumers in turn are demanding advertising on their own terms and their own turfs. Value exchange goes a long way in treating consumers as more than just eyeballs and helps to create a symbiotic relationship between ad creator and ad watcher.


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