Nielsen research: Branded content outperforms pre-roll advertising

To battle ad-blocking technology, brands are taking on branded content (marketing that combines interesting editorial content with brand messaging) as a new way to engage consumers.

Nielsen recently assessed consumer reactions to branded content and compared it to the reactions to pre-roll advertising (e.g., promotional videos that run before the content the user has selected).

Two of the main findings were:

  1. Branded content can drive higher brand recall and brand lift than pre-roll advertisements

  2. When viewers enjoy content, they view the integrated brands more favourably

Higher brand recall from branded content than from pre-roll

Nielsen chart -  brand recall

The Nielsen analysis showed that consumers recall brands more after seeing branded content than pre-roll ads. The branded content generated an average of 86% brand recall among viewers, compared with 65% from the pre-roll ad.

Nielsen chart - purchase intent

Additionally, the purchase intent among viewers was higher for branded content (13%) than pre-roll (10%).

Nielsen chart - recommendation intent

Finally, consumers were more likely to recommend the brand after seeing it featured in branded content compared to in a pre-roll ad – 20% vs 16%.

Enjoyable content = likable brand

Nielsen's research also found that viewers who enjoyed the content viewed the integrated brands more favourably. They were also more receptive to the brand message if the content was captivating and involved characters that were relatable. Finally, they were more likely to view the content in the first place if they felt the content was “for people like me”.

So how can you ensure that your content is enjoyable and relatable?

When it comes to ensuring your content resonates, who better to have on your team than the people you want to view it? Communicate directly and effectively with your consumers and co-create your branded content with them - you can bet that their friends will only be a click away.

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