New Study by Magna and Origin: Brands can Benefit from Native Ad Formats on Connected TV

Study finds surrounding ads with short-form native content leads to higher attention and more cognitive processing of brand ads

MAGNA Media Trials, MAGNA’s industry-leading proprietary research offering, announced today a new study in partnership with media and technology company Origin, titled “Reinventing TV Ads.” MAGNA and Origin set out to try to understand if consumers are really processing the information they are given when served an ad, if they are engaged in the experience, what emotions they are feeling, and whether they are distracted or focused.

Consumers along with the media landscape have rapidly evolved, yet CTV advertising has predominantly remained the same. As concerns about ad fatigue, attention deficit and the need for performance rise, it is vital for brands to innovate with new ad formats on Connected TV (CTV). “Reinventing TV Ads” concluded that native ad ‘extensions’ break the monotony of back-to-back traditional ads on CTV, resulting in higher attention and more cognitive processing of the ad to follow – making these ads memorable and more effective across key metrics used today to plan and evaluate CTV investments.

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The study used a two-pronged methodology, using EEG and eye-tracking glasses – it first measured subconscious responses to extension TV ads vs. traditional TV ads, and then the impact of extension TV ads vs. traditional TV ads across key KPIs for brand participants including Energizer, Norton LifeLock and T-Mobile. The study used neuroscience to test cognitive load, emotion, arousal and visual attention.

“A valuable finding in this latest research with Origin is that pairing traditional TV ads with additional native content, otherwise known as ad extensions, helps amplify ad impact with considerably higher attention and engagement,” said Prayushi Amin, Sr. Manager, Intelligence Solutions, MAGNA. “Brands can extensively benefit from pairing their traditional TV ads with attention-grabbing content and use the moment to form meaningful relationships with consumers.”

Ad types tested in the study were traditional TV ads and extension TV ads, which comprise of an Origin-produced native asset plus a standard video ad.

Key findings of the report include:

  • TV ads can be just as engaging as TV content when within an extension ad: Traditional TV ads are naturally less engaging than TV content, but the study found that people were just as mentally engaged during extension ads (46.1%, Normative EEG Score) as they were during TV content (46.3%, Normative EEG Score).

  • In fact, when paired with extensions, traditional TV ads are processed differently:

    • They capture more attention: +6% of people viewed the ad paired with an extension compared to the traditional TV ad.

    • They are easier to process, resulting in higher engagement: EEG responses show cognitive processing load is significantly lower while mental engagement is significantly higher for the traditional TV ad when paired with an extension.

  • Amplified success when extension creative strategy is closely aligned with campaign goals: The study found that when aligned with campaign goals, extension ads moved key attributes for the respective brand – resulting in stronger agreement with brand message (+14%), higher brand preference (+13%), and agreement that brand stands out among competitors (+9%).

  • Brands benefit differently from the different extension strategies: For the highest impact across the funnel, a branded extension is the way to go. Though, the subtlety in un-branded extension instills curiosity, resulting in higher search intent (+11%), and the priming experience helps the brand stand out among other brands (+15%).

“In an age of constant distraction where ‘attention’ is the new commodity brands must fight over in the living room, this study has given us unique insight into how advertisers can not only captivate viewers – but influence them too. The question was never ‘do traditional ads work?’ Because they do. Instead, it was about discovering what brands can do to engage and amplify their message,” said Fred Godfrey, Co-founder, and CEO of Origin. “By pairing their ad creatives with highly dynamic and agile native content, regardless of if they are branded or unbranded, we’ve discovered that advertisers can earn the attention they need and, in doing so, elevate the impact and performance of their campaigns in a significant and meaningful way.”

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