IAB Europe and Integral Ad Science Webinar: COVID-19 Impact on Consumer Sentiment and Context

During the webinar held on June 30th by IAB Europe, in collaboration with Integral Ad Science, Katie Grosvenor, Head of Sales, Northern Europe IAS shared valuable insights from their latest research on brand suitability and the role of contextual advertising during Covid-19.

Grosvenor said that although 2020 is going to be a transformative year, the ad industry has showed how quickly it can adapt to new realities.

The benefit of Covid-19, if one can say so, is that it forces discussion, giving a very real-life push in defining what is brand suitable and understanding the importance of context in reaching audiences.

The outcome of the research The ripple effect conducted by IAS between August 2019 and 2020 has shown that the environment where the ads are placed plays a key role in consumers’ perception of the brand. 91% of U.K. consumers consider it important that the ads they see are placed next to high quality content.

Furthermore, high quality content drives consumer engagement: 65% of consumers are more likely to engage in a high quality environment against 25% in a low quality environment.

Grosvenor also shared the key findings of their study Coronavirus Ad Adjacency, a rapid response online survey ran in March and April 2020 to determine consumer perceptions concerning coronavirus content.

With 81% of UK consumers actively seeking out coronavirus content it is important to keep in mind what ads consumers claim to want to see alongside this type of content. Respectively, 55% and 43% of people surveyed in April said they wanted to see health and government related ads, an increasing percentage compared to March (46% and 39% respectively).

In the current situation, most people do not want brands to stop advertising, but their sentiment toward a brand varies depending on the message it features. 44% said they feel more favourable towards brands that have provided information to help the public deal with the coronavirus situation.

Lastly, Grosvenor presented their research on Data privacy and contextual advertising through which IAS asked people how they perceive data collection and targeted digital advertising practices. Spending more time and money online, 94% affirmed caring about their data protection. Up to two thirds of consumers have taken action to limit online data collection with 62% claiming to have cleared/deleted their browser history and 58% to have cleared/deleted their browser cookies.

The research has also shown that consumers prefer behavioural and contextual targeting when online. 35% affirmed to be more receptive to ads that match what they have previously purchased online, 34% to ads that are relevant to their recent browsing history and 33% to ads relevant to the content of the site they are browsing.

The recording is available here.