Ads are more effective when repeated in a block


Advertisements that are repeated in a block are generally more effective and significantly boost brand recall, according to new research focused on digital formats. 

study in the Journal of Advertising Research found that ‘roadblock’ advertising also achieves higher attitudes toward the ad, higher attitudes toward the brand, and higher purchase intentions than ads that take place in more cluttered situations. 

What’s roadblock advertising? 

Roadblock advertising involves blocking out other advertisements to maximize attention, either by running a single advertisement in multiple media platforms at the same time or by running a single advertisement exclusively one or more times within a single program or video. By contrast, full-load advertising will include advertisements from multiple brands, which can create clutter in the minds of consumers. 

Why roadblock advertising matters

The advertising landscape has evolved at an unprecedented rate because of media fragmentation and changing media consumption habits. It has become challenging for advertisers and brands to catch the attention of viewers in an era of seemingly limitless viewing platforms. The practice of using roadblock advertising is growing, and likely will continue to do so, driven partly by increasing demand for shorter digital videos.

As a result, advertisers need insights on the effectiveness of different advertising formats in short-duration digital video. 

  • Brands in general can achieve better advertisement recall, higher attitude toward the advertisement, attitude toward the brand, and purchase intention by using roadblock advertising during digital viewing.
  • A target brand was accurately recalled by 75% of the respondents exposed to roadblock advertising, compared to only 29% of the respondents in the clutter condition.
  • Ads that are pooled together and played one after another during a commercial break produce higher attitudes toward the ad and the brand than those that occur across multiple commercial breaks. 
  • This suggests that a lower number of commercial breaks increases advertisement effectiveness; brands should aim to cluster ads into a smaller number of breaks when using roadblock advertising.
  • Roadblock advertising has the potential to increase consumer preferences for new and familiar products. 
About the study 

Eighty-eight young adult consumers were exposed to roadblock and cluttered advertising while watching a wildlife documentary for study one. In study two, the same number of participants was split into two groups: one group of watched the same 30-second advertisement six times back to back in two commercial breaks, while the other group watched the same 30-second ad in six different commercial breaks. The last study looked at the impact of two types of roadblock advertising schedules on new versus familiar brands with a sample size of 124 adults. 

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