MARCH 02, 2015

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MSI: Digital Video Ads' Final Seconds Matter Most

New research published by the Marketing Science Institute provides important insights on the elements found in good digital video ads. A study, conducted by researchers from the University of Hamburg and the University of Groningen, found that the virality of a digital video ad is determined more by the video's likability in its final few seconds than any other part of the video. The study, which included 361 participants and measured moment-to-moment reactions of 120 commercials, found that a digital video ad with a likable ending is far more likely to be shared than a video with a likable beginning. The researchers also find that videos that include highly intense and distinctive stimuli encourage better virality. Overall, high likability throughout the video led to a greater willingness to share, confirming the popular belief that likability is often coupled with virality.

So what?

Few research studies have been published on effective digital video advertising during its nascency, so the insights here are extremely valuable. Many online advertising managers have long operated under the belief that it was necessary to start their digital video ads with a bang and grab viewers' attention early. However, this research indicates that the recency effect of the final few seconds of a video ad being liked will make it more memorable and more likely to be shared.

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Industry Viewpoints
How Playful Content and Quizzes Can Enhance Journalism

If it seems like quizzes such as ‘can we guess your real age’ and ‘what classic novel describes your life’ are popping up everywhere, it’s probably because they do. While these quizzes are identified with digital-native brands like Buzzfeed, they’re now being adopted also by established news outlets like CNN and the New York Times. Many decry this trend as harmful to serious journalism, but after completing an audit of the marketplace, the Columbia Journalism School suggests that quizzes and other forms of playful content can help journalists bring attention to news events and engage readers in a unique way. In today’s highly-social environment, serious journalism is clustered in readers’ feeds with personal posts, entertainment and other light fare, requiring journalists to reimagine their role. A playful attitude to news can help reach new audiences and communicate important topics in a storytelling format that may resonate with them more. Examples of such playful news products include ‘1000 Days of Syria’, a choose-your-own-adventure game about the Syrian conflict, the New York Times’ weekly news quiz, and Slate’s fiscal cliff interactive feature. To successfully create playful content, the report recommends creating formats with high iterability and flexibility, introduce people with non-journalistic backgrounds into the creation of news, and most importantly, encourage experimentation and search for new ways to tell a story.

So what?

When done right, quizzes and playful content can complement serious news and help inform readers in new and innovative ways. As Condé Nast brands start to experiment with these types of formats, it is important for each brand to ensure that its playful products reflect its unique voice and satisfy unmet needs of its audience.

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Millward Brown: Insights on Getting the Screen Right

When it comes to digital planning these days, it’s all about efficiencies and targeting. A recent study by Millward Brown Digital suggests that each generation uses digital differently for consuming content or when shopping. For low attention tasks like checking the weather, smartphones are preferred but all generations lean toward laptops and PCs as the time investment increases. 81% of consumers prefer to complete 5-minute tasks via smartphones while only 43% prefer smartphones for tasks that take between 10-20 minutes. Across all generations, screen-size and speed were the biggest contributors to device preference. When considering the consumer journey, even the more mobile-centric Millennials will use their laptops for certain categories depending on the time and importance of the task (36% use their laptops when shopping for consumer electronics vs 27% smartphone). For Gen Xers and Boomers, laptops/PCs are the device of choice when shopping.

So what?

The preferred screen is often the most convenient screen, regardless of age. However it remains important to understand the nuances of screen preference by demographic or task. Not surprisingly, Millennials are more likely to gravitate to their smartphones, however will move to a larger screen if it becomes a longer time investment. Condé Nast's Consumer Intelligence & Analytics team has access to tools that can help content developers and advertisers better understand how specific demographics are consuming content across screens.

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Quick Takes
The Majority of U.S. Households Will Soon Be Without A Land Line

Source: CDC, Statista
Business Insider Projects Three-Quarters of All New Cars Will Be Connected Cars by 2020

Source: BI Intelligence
Democrats Three Times As Likely As Republicans To Hope a Woman Reaches the White House in Their Lifetime

Condé Nast
Feedback, questions, ideas for future issues? Please contact:

Phil Paparella
Condé Nast Research & Insights | Associate Director
1166 6th Avenue, 14th fl. | NY, NY 10036 | office 212.790.6044 |

Tamar Rimmon | Senior Manager, Digital Analytics
Robyn Hightower | Manager, Research & Insights