- Video ads that showed surprised emotions in the first three seconds spurred a 360% jump in performance from start of the pandemic to lockdown, while ads with happy emotions saw a decrease of 64% in conversions, according to a study that video advertising company VidMob shared with Marketing Dive. The company used the purchase rate for online consumers as the key performance indicator for ad effectiveness.
- Calm videos saw a jump in purchase rate of 156% during lockdowns. Ads showing women drove a 325% increase in performance, compared with 41% decline for ads showing men, the study found.
- Viewers also responded positively to ads with outdoor settings, which experienced a 60% increase in purchase rate while ads showing indoor settings saw a 57% decline as lockdowns took effect. VidMob analyzed almost 8,700 ads from 44 e-commerce and consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands that ran sales conversion campaigns on Facebook, Instagram and Facebook Audience Network from Jan. 1 to May 8, per the report.
Video advertisements that showed "surprised" emotions, outdoor settings and women have been more effective than other kinds of creative during the coronavirus pandemic, per the VidMob report.
The surge in online shopping by consumers who are staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic makes sales conversions a significant indicator of the effectiveness of video advertising. Brands that seek to drive online sales should consider how their video creative affects the shopping behavior of consumers. That's especially true for social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram that have increased their support for online shopping during the pandemic.
As VidMob's study indicates, consumers are more likely to respond to video ads that show surprised emotions rather than happy feelings. That difference reflects the emotions that consumers are feeling amid heightened worries about personal health, job security and the economic outlook. Brands needs to ensure that the emotional content and tone of their video ads match the feelings of consumers. During the pandemic, the most common reason for consumers to buy products and services is their helpfulness or ability to meet a specific need, a separate study by researcher Morning Consult found.
It's not surprising that people would react more positively to ads that show outdoor settings as people tire of staying indoors or working from home during the pandemic. As for the reason for the positive reaction to ads showing women, VidMob suggests that further analysis is needed.
"It’s possible that seeing a woman in the first three seconds led to higher purchase rates because women tend to be the primary purchase decision makers for categories like personal care, beauty, health OTC and baby products. But this is not always the case. Showing men on screen can drive higher KPIs for CPG brands, which points to the need for ongoing creative analysis. Many factors influence consumer reaction to ad visuals and brands need to understand how, when and why responses change," Sammy Salustri, VidMob data scientist, said in emailed comments.
The result may also reflect the fact that women make 70% to 80% of consumer purchase decisions in the U.S., making them a key target audience for a variety of products, Forbes reported.
Update: This story has been updated to include comments from VidMob regarding the positive reaction to ads showing women.