PHD, part of Omnicom Media Group, today announces the first results of a new media research initiative which has shown that when touch is involved while consuming media, there is an average increase in spontaneous recall of ads of 28%.
The research project, conceived by PHD’s insight team and undertaken in collaboration with the University College London Business Psychology School, set out to examine how touching ads may affect key brand metrics.
To test this, participants were asked to read a reduced edition of Metro on a tablet.
- The first group was asked to navigate the paper using a traditional mouse without touching the ads
- The second group were asked to simply swipe between pages with their fingers, as on any touchscreen device
The results found a significant increase in spontaneous advertising awareness. In the touch condition spontaneous recall of six advertisements was an average of 28% higher than in the non-touch condition.
In addition key brand metrics for each advertiser were significantly higher in the touch condition than in the non-touch condition, showing that the advertising was also received more positively.
Today (Wednesday 2nd April), PHD begins the next stage of this research, opening its offices to every UK media owner and trade body to discuss the implications these findings could have on specific media. Media companies attending include The Guardian, ITV, Google, The Economist, JC Decaux and Global Radio.
PHD’s head of insight, Chris White said “We believe the findings of this research could have far-reaching implications not just on how we plan and buy media for our clients but how media owners’ position their inventories.
This research was just the first step. By engaging the wider media industry in discussions about how it could be harnessed in every medium, we hope it can be applied to everyone’s benefit.”
About the research
Our background thinking: Touch has been shown by social psychologists for many years to increase favourability in social encounters. Could it be the same with media, could touch have a beneficial effect on the effects of advertising?
We then developed a hypothesis: The simple act of touching an advertisement will increase recall of an advertisement and favourability to the brand
The challenge: To set-up an experiment which isolates the effect of touch e.g. one condition where people touch ads and one where they don’t without instructing them to do so. We created a bespoke approach with University College London Business Psychology School to examine how touching advertisements affects key brand metrics (awareness, recall, likeability etc.)
Methodology: Participants were asked to read a reduced edition of Metro on a tablet.
The first group was asked to navigate the paper using a traditional mouse not touching the ads
The second group were asked to simply swipe between pagers with their fingers as on any touchscreen device
Results: We found a significant increase in spontaneous advertising awareness among other findings. In the touch condition spontaneous recall of six advertisements was an average of 28% higher than in the non-touch condition.
In addition key brand metrics for each advertiser were significantly higher in the touch condition than in the non-touch condition, showing that the advertising was received more positively.
You can read The Drum’s coverage of our research here.