IPG Media Lab + Forbes Evaluate The Current State of Branded Content

Longer Form Branded Content Drives Purchase Consideration Among Millennials

Click here to download the full report.

According to our new quantitative study, “Storytelling: The Current State of Branded Content,” conducted in partnership with Forbes and S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, branded content’s impact is superior to display advertising in terms of recall, brand perception and intent/consideration.

This study included over 4,000 Forbes readers in the U.S. who were asked to view webpage content featuring brands such as SONY, Maserati and Boeing, followed by a post-exposure survey. The results demonstrated that:

  • Branded Content Works: Branded content is highly effective across the branding funnel and outperforms display ads. In addition to aided recall’s 59 percentage point increase, brand favorability was 7 percentage points higher and purchase consideration was 9 percentage points higher
  • Branded Content Holds Up Over Time: Despite the loss of novelty often seen with ad products across time, branded content was as effective, if not more so, in 2016 compared to results seen in the 2013 study.
  • Brand Interest Increases with Branded Content: Branded content may drive lasting interest in the brand. Consumers were 14 percentage points more likely to say they intend to seek out more information about the brand in the future.
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Mention Your Brand: ‘Higher Branding,’ defined as 2x the number of brand mentions, caused brands to be perceived as more educational by over 7 percentage points and performs better on mobile devices.
  • Longer Form Branded Content Drives Millennial Purchase Consideration: 18-34 year olds responded better to long articles, driving higher engagement consideration rates and aiding recall.
  • Branded Content Is Perceived Better: Consumers perceive branded content as being more consumer-centric because it is less about selling products and more about providing value to consumers.
  • Performance on Forbes.com Shows Value: Among those most engaged with the content, there was evidence that branded content performed particularly well on the Forbes website compared to brand sites.


Click here to download the full report.

IPG Lab - Forbes - Storytelling - The Current State of Branded Content Infographic
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IPG Media Lab + Thinknear Release Infographic – Harnessing the Power of Location

Location-based audience targeting superior in driving foot traffic, as IPG Media Lab & Thinknear media trial demonstrates better performance and lower cost across key mobile metrics.


In partnership with Thinknear, a leading location-based marketing platform, we are proud to present the results of a quantitative media trial examining how location based audience targeting (LBA) compares versus more traditional methods such as designated market area targeting (DMA) in mobile.

The scientific design included randomized control groups for each targeting method. We partnered with Office Depot Inc. to utilize mobile location data in identifying and targeting audiences based on behavioral location data.

The Lab also partnered with Placed, the market share leader in ad to in-store attribution representing the world’s largest opt-in location audience, to measure both brand impact as well as foot traffic.

The resulting infographic, Harnessing the Power of Location, details how LBA targeting reaches more specific and relevant audiences, drives both intent and actual visits to visit brick and mortar stores, and is significantly more cost-effective for marketers.

Key highlights from the resulting media trial findings include:

  • Consumers reached through LBA targeting were 10% more likely to fit into the brand’s key psychographic target.
  • LBA targeting was more effective at reaching new potential customers – those who purchase office supplies at competitive stores.
  • Generic DMA targeting had no measureable impact on reaction by key customer segments. However, those reached through LBA targeting showed significant lift (+116%) in intent to visit the store.
  • Location aware ads nearly doubled the impact in visitation intent. Using a location aware creative combined with LBA targeting led to the best result.
  • Only LBA targeting translated into actual foot traffic – a 29% lift in store visits, which is much higher compared to the industry norm of only 3.1% lift in store visits.
  • LBA targeting was also highly cost effective, with a $1.02 cost per incremental store visit compared to $6.39 for the general industry benchmark.


IPG LBA infographic_Harnessing The Power Of Location
Click on the infographic to view and download full-size image.


Click here to download the infographic in pdf.


IPG Lab + Zefr Release The Power of Relevance: Content, Context, and Emotions

The ad industry often uses people’s web behavior data to serve them ads. But, targeting based on demographic data could easily reach the wrong person with the wrong ad. Contextual targeting uses the video content people are watching to serve them the right ad at the right time.

Today IPG Media Lab, in partnership with Zefr, released their joint study on the effectiveness of running video ads alongside contextually relevant content on YouTube. The research includes almost 9,000 consumers, 5 different industry verticals and examines 4 different types of contextual targeting methods. The IPG Media Lab also employed next gen tools to track consumer attention while they watched the ads.

The study answers the following questions:

• Does contextual targeting improve the consumer experience?
• When consumers are in different mindsets, do their brains interpret the ad differently?
• Does placement alongside contextually relevant content make ads work harder against brand KPIs?
• What types of contextual targeting are most effective, if any?

Interested in learning more? Download the full report below to dive into the results. Or, you can follow a more visual narrative with the link below.

Download the full Power of Relevance deck here.

Or, walk through a visual narrative here.

IPG Media Lab & Peel Present Innovations In Cross-Screen Targeting: A Case Study

IPG Media Lab partnered with Peel — the remote control app that drives TV ratings.
Key questions of the study:

  • How does the effectiveness of TV and mobile advertising compare across branding metrics? Is either more successful at driving consumers to take action?
  • What’s the benefit, if any, of re-targeting consumers on mobile devices based on their past exposure to TV advertising?
  • Does frequency of exposure play a role?

Download The Study