Would you mind placing your ads in a shady environment? Does context really matter that much? We have previously dived into the critical importance of context relevance in ad placement here. Furthermore, various research proves that consumers judge brands by the company they keep. According to a recent Marketing Week analysis of several psychology experiments, brand perceptions are influenced by where they are seen, so high-quality ad environments are crucial to premium brands.
Intrigued? Check our selected takeaways from the above analysis of why context matters:
- Show me your context. As part of his research, Michael Deppe, a neurologist from the University of Munster, showed consumers a series of news headlines. Sometimes the headlines appeared in respected magazines, on other occasions they were shown in lower-credibility titles. When the researcher asked the participants to rate the believability of the headline on a seven-point scale, he saw a stark pattern. The same headline was evaluated remarkably differently dependent on where it appeared. In highly respected titles, the information was twice as believable as when it featured in the low-credibility magazines. Deppe’s study suggests that it’s not just what we say that matters, but where we say it.
- Stay close to high-status brands. In 2021, Heeyon Kim at Cornell University ran a larger-scale study which showed a similar to the above effect but on brand equity. Kim showed 1,123 participants ads for clothing brands such as J Crew or Banana Republic. Some people saw the messages in the midst of a magazine with no other ads. Others saw the ads in the same magazine but alongside a range of high-status brands, like Chanel and Hermès. Later on, the participants were asked to rate the prestige of J Crew and Banana Republic. Those who had seen the brands surrounded by high-status firms scored them 17% higher than the group who had seen the ads with minimal context. According to Kim, “mere proximity” to high-status firms boosted the appeal of the test brand.
- The “primacy effect”: timing is everything. Studies suggest that at certain times, you can justify paying a significant premium to access the best environments. One such moment is at launch. At this stage, the audience has limited knowledge of your offer and therefore their perceptions are particularly malleable. Psychologists term the idea that first impressions are particularly important as the ‘primacy effect’ as confirmed by an original study into this bias conducted by Solomon Asch in the 1940s. The study results suggest that the first information we receive acts as a filter for later news.
- All impressions are not equal. The power of first impressions is demonstrated in an example from Dan Ariely’s bestseller Predictably Irrational. Ariely discusses the case of an entrepreneur, Salvador Assael, who had secured exclusive rights in the 1970s to rare Tahitian black pearls. However, when he originally tried to sell them, people assumed they were inferior to the standard white variety and were unwilling to pay much.
Assael’s ingenious solution was to approach the renowned jeweller Harry Winston who ran one of the most prestigious shops on Fifth Avenue, New York. He persuaded Winston to feature the black pearls in his windows surrounded by other high-end gems – diamonds, rubies, sapphires and the like. When shoppers saw the pearls in such an illustrious context, they assumed they must be of immense value. This example confirms that if you want to boost your perceived quality, then it’s worth investing in environments where you will be surrounded by premium brands.
Novelty Media, via SmartAdd, offers the long-awaited solution for your context-related worries. Our mobile media technology framework enables a fresh and transformative mobile content delivery experience by utilizing the mobile’s unlocking and calling functions, all in a 100% brand-safe environment, fully controlled and curated by design. Thus, SmartAdd provides the ultimate digital medium for your ads and content – transparent, predictable, already trusted by numerous premium brands and fully endorsed by Mobile Operators. Want to unlock significant monetization capabilities and attention-driven opportunities? Keep following our Marketing Bites to discover the benefits of choosing SmartAdd for your brand and content strategy.