Advertising has been an integral part of businesses reaching audiences for decades. From the billboard signs at the corner of the street to the digital pop-up ads visible on every webpage we visit, advertising is present everywhere we go. Especially in the last few decades, advertising has undergone several stages of transformation, but none is as impactful as the digital age. To paint a picture, we need not look further than the decade’s start. To give you an idea, online advertising revenue in 2013 was ₹2,900 crore. Now, as of 2021, the revenue generated by digital advertising across India was valued at around ₹246 billion as per Statista.
In this ever-burgeoning industry, misinformation, disinformation, and fake news are the most concerning media quality threats. Although marketers spend billions of dollars on building brands, these threats can cause serious harm to the brand’s reputation. An inclination to advertise on social media translates to an increasing fear of media quality threats.
Integral Ad Science (IAS), in partnership with YouGov, surveyed over 500 digital media experts from brands, agencies, publishers and adtech providers to understand and examine the perspectives surrounding these threats. The research revealed the following trends:
- A vast majority of media experts agree misinformation should be actively avoided, but few say their organisations have clear guidelines.
- Recent global events have fueled the threat of misinformation, disinformation, and fake news content.
- A large number of industry experts report high levels of concern regarding media threats.
- Marketers and brands prioritise social platforms even though they consider the
environment vulnerable to misinformation.
As ad spending continues to grow, total ad spend across media in India is estimated to cross the ₹1 lakh crore mark in 2022 making media quality assurance ever present as buyers and sellers seek to minimise known and emerging threats. The Global Disinformation Index (GDI) estimates that advertisers unwittingly provide at least $235m to global disinformation sites annually.
Below are a few strategies that marketers can implement to minimise these threats:
Context-based strategies vs broad blocking
Context-based strategies allow ad buyers and sellers to avoid misinformation with
minimal impact on reach. However, it is underused as basic blocking tactics remain the most popular, despite their impact on diminishing audience reach and advertising opportunities. Interestingly, less than one-third of respondents currently use or plan to use context-based avoidance and targeting methods, while less than one-fifth leverage pre- or post-bid avoidance segments.
Contextual targeting strategies yield more substantial consumer attention, significantly boosting brand favorability and consumer purchase intent. In-context ads are proven to generate higher memorability and increase brand recall and awareness among consumers. With Google phasing out the use of third-party data, the attention to contextual targeting will be a key attention point for marketers as they try to target the right consumer.
Utilising solutions dedicated to ensuring brand protection
Marketers require more advanced tools to protect their brand reputation. Industry-wide measures by ad tech platforms to ensure fake news, disinformation, and misinformation are tackled aggressively are the need of the hour. *42% of media experts are concerned about the impact on their company’s reputation in the event of an adjacency near misinformation, disinformation, and fake news.
To provide advertisers with enhanced misinformation protection, IAS partnered with the Global Disinformation Index (GDI), making IAS the first ad verification company to help marketers avoid misinformation based on GDI’s standards.
GDI is a trusted third party that sets the standard for what qualifies as disinformation and focuses on restoring trust in media sites worldwide by providing real-time automated risk ratings.
Such partnerships with gatekeepers of the misinformation give advertisers confidence that their campaigns run on quality news platforms and avoid misinformation sites. With expanded global coverage, IAS can identify more sources of misinformation and ensure greater protection for your digital campaigns.
Contextually relevant content increases memorability and favourability
A digital ad can only be considered impact-making if it is seen — not just served.
However, as many as one-third of digital ads go unseen by consumers in specific
environments. This can be attributed to factors such as: is the ad targeting the right
consumer? Is it served in the right place? Is it served in the proper context?
Marketers must understand how the environment or consumer interaction can interfere with viewability. For starters, the longer your ads are in front of consumers, the more excellent the opportunity to leave an impression. To understand how display ads perform when in context versus out of context, IAS recently released a study, ‘Ad Context & Attention’ conducted in partnership with Tobii, the global leader in eye tracking and a pioneer in attention computing. Below are some key findings:
- The in-context ad was the first-page element consumers noticed
- Purchase intent was higher among consumers who viewed the in-context ad,
increasing by 14%
- The In-context ad generated higher brand favorability among participants,
resulting in a 5% increase when compared with consumers viewing the out-of-
- Consumers were four times more likely to remember a brand unaided after
seeing an in-context ad versus an out-of-context ad.
As content consumption grows for the everyday person, the possibility of advertising alongside fake news or misleading content presents a challenge for brands and marketers alike. AI/ ML- based algorithms are required to reach and stop online ad fraud. Furthermore, safeguards in place, such as partnerships with gatekeepers of misinformation and disinformation like the Global Disinformation Index (GDI) help marketers to tackle misinformation in real-time.
This article was first published on Agency Reporter.