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Comparing Advertising Methods: Are Online

Targeted Ads, Television Ads, or Native Ads


More Effective Among College Students?

Maleik Davis, Kahisha Joseph, Sara Solano, Samantha Warren

Rationale
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The goal of our research was to understand our participants views and behavior
as it relates to targeted advertising. In todays society, there are multifaceted
technologies geared to attract our attention. We are no longer living in a world where
information or advertising at large is disseminated through one channel. We are living
in a two-way communication society where our focus is shifted to many platforms,
engaging simultaneously on various social media. It has become increasingly difficult to
reach ones intended audience. As Wossen and Hutto said, to [reach] Millennials,
knowing why, how, and when the cohort uses digital tools and technologies is critical for
industry data suggest that they watch more videos, play video games, multitask, and,
sometimes, use multiple devices concurrently (2016). We wanted to better understand
our target audiences behavior through their consumption of media when it comes to
targeted advertising and a host of other channels that promulgate these initiatives.

What is targeted advertising? According to Ivy Wigmore, A targeted ad, in online


marketing, is an advertisement that is served to a specific audience, which could be a
particular demographic, a group or an individual. [These] ads are chosen for their
relevance to site content, in the assumption that they will then be relevant to the site
audience as well (2017). We took into consideration that companies and their
respective brands now have a better idea of who their consumers are and where to find
them. Brands can discover useful information about their target consumers and utilize
the information to create stronger connections with them. With social media sites like
Facebook and Instagram emerging as top platforms for reaching consumers, its
important for brands to understand the benefits of targeted advertising on social media.
According to the Harvard Business Review, online tracking technology has allowed
marketers to increase their clicks-per-view and conversions through personalized
advertisements (Reczeck, Summers & Smith, 2016).

From our research, we understood that targeted ads rely on the behavior of
users when they search online or visit websites. This indicates some level of interest
where companies are able to make strategic decisions on how their ads will be served.
With thousands of studies about Millennials and the growing digital world, its no
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surprise that researchers find a greater amount of digital ad interaction coming from
Millennials when compared to other platforms. A study conducted by EMarketer.com
shows that 36 percent of millennials find digital advertising to be more effective than
traditional advertising (2014). Online video ads have a 1.84 percent click-through rate
on average, the highest of all digital ad formats (Shukairy, 2017). Based on our
research, we concluded that online targeted ads arent likely to receive more
engagement from college students than television ads.

We wanted to see the effectiveness of each type of ad. According to Chris Finan,
a pre-roll ad involves running a video advertisement ahead of the desired video content
(2014) and are great for brand awareness. In our research, we also included other
formats, such as mid-roll ads, which are promotional video messages that play in the
middle of content on social media. Native ads are promotional messages that are
embedded into social media feeds. The ad placement in online videos play a significant
role in the effectiveness of the ads. Pre-roll ads are placed at the beginning of a video,
and mid-roll ads are placed in the middle like a television commercial. Studies have
shown that viewers are able to recall more details from mid-roll ads than they are from
pre-roll ads (Holmes, 2017).

Pre-roll ads can interrupt a user's experience. However, if used correctly, they
can drive awareness. According to Brian Carter from Convinceandconvert.com, pre-roll
ads can provide an interesting and entertaining break for the viewer. In this article,
Carter mentions that pre-roll ads are good at targeting the audiences interests while still
using geography, language and demographics (Carter, 2015).

According to Marketing Land, 63 percent of consumers surveyed said they


trusted TV ads, while only 48 percent trusted online video ads (Gesenhues, 2015).
Consumers view TV ads as more trustworthy because of the strict FCC guidelines they
must follow. Although online ads are regulated by the FTC, consumers are more prone
to scams and false advertising on the Web. Especially with millennials, word-of-mouth is
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still the most influential and trustworthy form of advertising. Many consumers take action
based on what other consumers say about products online.

YouTube isnt the only place online targeted video ads exist. All kinds of social
media networks provide new gateways for advertisers to target the Millennial
generation. According to marketing.twitter.com, Twitter saw an average of 25%
incremental reach to TV among those aged 18 to 24 across the four campaigns
measured (2017). Targeted video ads prove successful for companies because studies
show that the target consumers respond to the ads more.

Methods
In order to thoroughly study the efficiency of advertising through television and
digital platforms, it was important to study the different ways ads are introduced to
consumers. Targeted pre-roll ads are played before video content, and targeted mid-roll
ads are played in the middle of video content. Native ads are embedded videos and
photos in a feed.

To research, we conducted a focus group and a survey. We began our process


by using secondary research to collect information about the different types of targeted
ads and their purposes. We were able to formulate our hypotheses and research
question, which became the basis of our research materials.

Focus Group Materials


The first study we conducted was a focus group. Once we created our
hypotheses and research question, we came up with a moderator guide containing 16
questions that would provide us with qualitative data from our focus group.

The moderator guide (Appendix A) began by thanking the group participants for
taking the time to be there and explaining that the information they provided is very
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important to us. It was also important to make sure that they understood the terminology
being used. Therefore, the introduction of the moderator guide included definitions for
pre-roll ads, mid-roll ads, native ads, and targeted advertising. It also explained where
participants can find targeted ads. The introduction finished by letting participants know
how long the interview would last and that we were looking for open and honest
opinions through an engaged conversation.

We grouped the moderator guide questions in a way that would sound


conversational during the focus group. We began with general behavior questions, such
as Which social platform do you use the most and why? and Are you more likely to
watch video ads on certain platforms? If so, which ones? After we got a feel of what our
participants experience was, we proceeded to questions that delved into participants
attitudes towards the subject. Some examples included Do you find targeted ads to be
invasive? and How do you feel about ads that are personalized to you? When we
collected the data about their attitudes, we jumped to questions regarding behavioral
outcomes. Examples included, Can you tell us about a time an online targeted ad
caused you to buy something? and Can you tell us of a time you searched something
and later encountered the item or service as an ad? By formatting the questions like
this, the research is not only more conversational, but it can be easier to search through
all of the qualitative data gathered.

Survey Materials
For the quantitative research, we created a survey and distributed it amongst 61
participants. The survey (Appendix B) provided us with the quantitative data that we
needed.

The survey began with a statement thanking participants and making it clear that
the survey was strictly for a class project. It also let participants know the amount of
time the survey would take as well as the purpose. Because the survey progression was
moderated by the participants themselves, it was important to keep the definitions of
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targeted ad jargon out of the introduction and instead define each term within the
questions.

We wanted to make sure that we had multiple survey questions for each
research question and hypothesis. When coming up with questions, it was also
necessary to be weary of double barreled, double bind, and leading or biased
questions. These types of errors can threaten the validity of the research.

For our survey, we used a variety of formats that we felt best suited our needs.
We began with some yes or no questions to make sure all participants were on the
same page. An example of this is, Do you use social media? Yes or no. We used
multiple choice questions to gather behavioral information, such as, What social media
do you use the most? and What platform do you see mid-roll ads in the most? We
used Likert scales the most in this survey because it helped us to learn the participants
ordinal level of agreement and likelihood to take action. Examples of Likert Scale
questions found in the survey were, How likely are you to multitask while watching
targeted pre-roll ads? and How likely are you to click on a targeted native ad that
interests you?

When constructing the questions individually, we had to make sure they were
clear and simple to understand. That includes explaining any potential jargon in that
question. The questions also had to provide plenty of directions, not leaving any
misunderstanding to chance, and clearly state whats required from them.

Results

Below are our focus group results, organized by each hypothesis and research
question we used:

H1. Online targeted video advertisements are more likely to get engagement from
college students than television advertising.
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Findings:

Many participants reported that they did not watch much television at all.
Participants said that they are likely to multitask while watching television
in general, regardless of whether an ad is playing or not.
Participants reported spending much more time online than watching
television.

H2. Targeted pre-roll ads are more likely to get more clicks per play than targeted mid-
roll ads.

Findings:

The majority of participants expressed dislike for mid-roll ads.


Participants preferred pre-roll ads to mid-roll ads.
The majority of participants said that the placement of targeted ads does
not affect how likely they are to click on it.

RQ. Are pre-roll ads more likely to get engagement online than targeted native
advertisements?

Findings:

The majority of participants viewed targeted native ads as less disruptive


than targeted pre-roll ads.
The majority of participants said they are more likely to click on a targeted
native ad than a targeted pre-roll ad.
The majority of participants said that they are more likely to click on
targeted native ads on Instagram than any other platform.
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Based on our results from the focus group, we decided to revise our hypotheses
and research question. In our new H1, we replaced engagement with respond to a
call to action in order to test a more specific type of engagement. We reformulated H2
into a research question, and we specified engagement as clicks per play in RQ
(now RQ2 with the revisions).

To analyze our survey data, we used the paired samples t-test. Because we
used the same participants to test different variables, a within-subject design is
appropriate.

Below are our survey results, organized by each hypothesis and research
question we used:

H1. Online targeted video advertisements are more likely to convince college students
to respond to a call to action than television advertisements.

Findings:

H1 is not supported.

Pair 1 = Please indicate how frequently you do the following things:


Search for a service or product featured in a targeted ad
Search online for a service or good you see on a TV commercial

Pair 2 = Please indicate how frequently you do the following things:


Purchase a product you saw in a targeted online ad
Purchase a service or product you saw on a TV commercial

Mean Standard Deviation Significance Level

Pair 1 0.00 0.98 p = 1.00


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Pair 2 0.03 0.68 p = 0.71

For both Pair 1 and Pair 2, p < 0.05. Therefore, the relationship between type of
advertisement (targeted online or TV) and likelihood to respond to a call to action
is not statistically significant.

We cannot reject the null hypothesis for H1.

RQ1. Are consumers more likely to multitask during targeted pre-roll ads or targeted
mid-roll ads?

Findings:

Our findings for RQ1 are marginally significant.

Pair = How likely are you to multitask, or pay attention to something else
when a pre-roll ad plays?
when a mid-roll ad plays?

Mean Standard Deviation

Likelihood to multitask during 4.10 1.33


a pre-roll ad

Likelihood to multitask during 3.98 1.34


a mid-roll ad

p value = 0.163, indicating a marginally significant relationship


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Likelihood of Participants to Multitask During Different Ad Types

RQ2. Are targeted pre-roll ads more likely to get more clicks per play than targeted
native advertisements?
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Findings:

Our findings for RQ2 are statistically significant.

Pair = Please indicate how frequently you do the following things--


Click on a targeted ad
Click on a native ad

Mean Standard Deviation

Likelihood to click 1.64 0.68


on a targeted ad

Click on a native ad 2.02 1.23

p value = 0.03, indicating a statistically significant relationship

Likelihood of Participants to Click on Different Types of Ads


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Additional Test - Multitasking

To gain further insight into our findings on media multitasking, we conducted another
paired samples t-test to compare participants multitasking behavior during pre-roll, mid-
roll and native ads.

Mean Standard Deviation

Likelihood to multitask during 4.10 1.33


a pre-roll ad

Likelihood to multitask during 3.98 1.34


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a mid-roll ad

Likelihood to multitask during 3.51 1.40


a native ad

Pair 1 = How likely are you to multitask, or pay attention to something else, when
you encounter a native ad?
a pre-roll ad plays?
Pair 2 = How likely are you to multitask, or pay attention to something else, when
you encounter a native ad?
a mid-roll ad plays?

Mean Standard Deviation Significance Level

Pair 1 -0.59 1.06 p = 0.00

Pair 2 -0.48 1.06 p = 0.00

The p values for Pairs 1 and 2 = 0.00, indicating statistically significant relationships for
both.

Likelihood of Participants to Multitask During Pre-Roll, Mid-Roll, and Native Ads


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Discussion
Based on our results from our first hypothesis, weve concluded that our findings
did not support this claim. Since most of the participants did not watch much TV at all, it
is nearly impossible for them to be exposed to television ads. Even among the
participants who did watch TV several hours a week, most of the group reported that
they multitasked in general whether it was during a TV commercial or not. These results
proved that most participants spent more time online than they do watching TV.
However, the act of later searching a product from a targeted ad, or even buying it,
didnt seem to make a difference when they were exposed to the ad on either medium.

Based on what weve learned, hypothesis one would need to be altered into a
more accurate and measurable claim. We first need to figure out what other strategies
are used to cause consumers to purchase a product. Looking into other kinds of ad
mediums may be helpful for figuring out what drives them to the purchasing point.
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Marketers would need to examine their own case-specific circumstances to decide


which medium would best accomplish their goals.

Our first research question was marginally supported. The majority of participants
expressed more of a dislike toward mid-roll ads than pre-roll ads. However, the
placement of these ads did not make a difference when it came to clicks. Based on our
findings, weve concluded that its not about which ads they like more, but instead its
about which ads they dislike more than the other. It seems like both placements are
seen as a disturbance, but one is more of a disturbance than the other. Most individuals
prefer to watch an online video without distractions and interruptions.

In order to find a more valid answer to our hypothesis, we would need to


implement some of the following strategies:

Conduct another focus group with a larger number of participants


Conduct a survey with only questions specifically regarding pre-roll and
mid-roll ads
Provide the survey to a random sample population

Moving forward, we need to figure out what kind of video ads are effective. For
years, content publishers have been struggling to establish best practices for using ads
in video content. The placement has huge implications for the success of an ad
campaign. Our results did conclude that people are most likely to multitask during a pre-
roll ad than a mid-roll ads. This is probably because most people feel obligated to view
a mid-roll ads since they were already engaged in the video they were in the middle of
watching. So it is possible for marketers to have a successful ad campaign if they create
a memorable and engaging mid-roll ad.

Our second research question were statistically significant. Native


advertisements are more likely to get clicks per play than pre-roll ads. People are also
less likely to multitask during native ads compared to pre-roll and mid-roll ads. This
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reasoning behind this could be because native ads are already embedded into the feed
so whether they clicked on the ad while scrolling down their feed by mistake or
something in the ad caught their interest, native ads seem to generate more attention
than any other placement.

Its reasonable to say that marketers should gravitate toward native placements if
theyre looking to increase awareness toward their brand or engagement among
consumers.

References

Carter, B. (2015, December 17). Why YouTube Pre-Roll Ads Rock & How to Take
Advantage of Them. Retrieved September 27, 2017, from
http://www.convinceandconvert.com/content-marketing/why-youtube-pre-roll-ads-
rock-how-to-take-advantage-of-them/

Gesenhues, A. (2015, February 25). Online vs. TV: 72% of agencies say online video
ads are as effective - or more effective - than TV [Survey]. Marketing Land.
Retrieved 26 September 2017, from https://marketingland.com/online-vs-tv-72-
agencies-say-online-video-ads-effective-effective-tv-survey-118854
Davis, Joseph, Solano, Warren 16

Holmes, T. (2017). The influence of self-brand congruity, ad position, and ad duration


on the effectiveness of online video advertising. Dissertation Abstracts
International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences. ProQuest.

Kassaye, W. Wossen and Alexandra Hutto. "Advertising Implications of Millennials'


Motives and Device-Platform Consideration Sets: An Exploratory Study." Journal
of Promotion Management, vol. 22, no. 1, Jan/Feb2016, pp. 16-33. EBSCOhost,
doi:10.1080/10496491.2015.1107008.

Perzyk, T. (2017, August 8). Twitter extends the reach of TV campaigns to connect
with
a young, hard-to-reach audience. Twitter Marketing. Retrieved 26 September
2017, from https://marketing.twitter.com/na/en/insights/twitter-extends-the-reach-
of-tv-campaigns-to-connect.html

Reczek, R. W., Summers, C., & Smith, R. (2016, April 04). Targeted Ads Don't Just
Make You More Likely to Buy - They Can Change How You Think About
Yourself. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved 23 September 2017, from
https://hbr.org/2016/04/targeted-ads-dont-just-make-you-more-likely-to-buy-they-
can-change-how-you-think-about-yourself

Shukairy, A. (2017). The State of Online Video Advertising Statistics And Trends.
Invesp. Retrieved 23 September 2017, from
https://www.invespcro.com/blog/online-video-advertising/

Traditional or Digital Ads? Millennials Show Mixed Feelings. EMarketer. (2014, April
15). Retrieved 23 September 2017, from
https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Traditional-Digital-Ads-Millennials-Show-
Mixed-Feelings/1010747
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Wigmore, Ivy. What Is Targeted Ad (Targeted Advertising)? - Definition from


WhatIs.com. WhatIs.com, 22 Feb. 2017,
whatis.techtarget.com/definition/targeted-ad-targeted-advertising.

Appendix A

Focus Group Moderator Guide

Hypotheses

H1: Online targeted video advertisements are more likely to convince college
students to respond to a call to action than television advertisements.
RQ1: Are consumers more likely to multitask during targeted pre-roll ads or
targeted mid-roll ads?
RQ2: Are targeted pre-roll ads more likely to get more clicks per play than
targeted native advertisements?

Moderator Questions

Introduction
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Hello, everyone. thank you so much for taking the time to be here. Your
contributions to this study are very important to us, and we look forward to hearing from
you all. Today, we will be talking about Targeted video advertisements. These are the
ads you often see when you watch videos on social media platforms such as Facebook
and YouTube. Targeted ads are meant to show you products or services that you would
more likely be interested in. How does it do this? Well, it all comes down to the
information gathered from your internet browsing history and digital activity.

The purpose of this meeting is to learn about your views on targeted video
advertising and the different levels of interaction it receives from millennials in
comparison to that of television advertisements and other types of digital targeted ads.
We will openly discuss the topic of targeted video advertisements for about 25 to 30
minutes. I will ask a series of questions and invite you all to engage in conversation with
your honest opinions.

1. Which social platform do you use the most and why?


2. What type of content do you watch online?
3. Are you more likely to watch video ads on certain platforms? If so, which ones?
4. How much of a video ad do you typically watch?
5. Do you you use ad blockers? If so, would you use ad blockers for targeted ads
specific to you?
6. How likely are you to multitask while watching an online video ad?
7. How much time per week do you spend watching TV versus watching online
content?
8. How likely are you to multitask while watching a traditional video ad?
9. How often do you see a television ad and later search for it online?
10. Do TV regulations make you trust TV ads more than online ads?
11. How do you feel about targeted ads?
12. Do you find targeted ads invasive?
13. Do you like that targeted ads are personalized to you?
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14. Do you think that targeted ad repetition makes it more memorable or more
invasive?
15. Can you tell us of a time you searched something and later encountered an ad
containing the same item? How did that make you feel?
16. Can you tell us about a time an online targeted ad caused you to buy something?

Appendix B

Hypotheses

H1: Online targeted video advertisements are more likely to convince college
students to respond to a call to action than television advertisements.
RQ1: Are consumers more likely to multitask during targeted pre-roll ads or
targeted mid-roll ads?
RQ2: Are targeted pre-roll ads more likely to get more clicks per play than
targeted native advertisements?

Introduction

Thank you so much for choosing to participate in this survey. Your answers to
the survey questions are very important to us, and we look forward to reviewing your
responses. This survey is for a class project, and the purpose of it is to learn how
college students interact with targeted pre-roll, mid-roll, and native ads versus television
ads. It is 15 questions long. All data we collect from this survey is confidential.
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Here are explanations of some of the terms you will encounter in this survey:

Pre-roll ads: a promotional video message that plays before content on social
media
Mid-roll ads: a promotional video message that plays in the middle of content on
social media
Native ads: promotional messages that are embedded into social media feeds
Targeted ads: promotional messages that are customized to your likes and
interests based on your internet browsing history

Questions
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