How Ster increases online advertising impact for clients

Dutch ad specialist Ster composed a checklist for ad-impact testing, with six factors which influence how people deal with ads

The challenge

Ster, responsible for the broadcasting of radio, television and online ads through the Dutch public broadcasting channels, wanted to advise their clients on how to move from #BABA (‘Being Annoyed by Advertising’) to #FOMA (‘Fear Of Missing Advertising’) in online advertising.

Ster thus wanted a better understanding of how people consume online videos and advertising, and how the impact of online advertising can be maximized.


Our solution

InSites Consulting set up an online consumer community or Square and invited 64 Dutch consumers that usually watch online videos on a weekly basis. By sharing their arguments and discussing their online ad experiences, they helped Ster evaluate the impact of online videos.

Emotions were of particular interest. Therefore, we used ‘facial coding’ – a technique which analyzes people’s facial expressions while they are watching a video – to uncover to what extent negative emotions surface when watching short-form videos. This results in a ‘timeline of emotions’, establishing the most emotional vs least emotional moments in a video, and the impact on the ad.

Main learning: no negative emotions were shown, not even during the ad! Yet, when consumers are ‘disrupted by the ad’, it takes them time to build emotions when a new ‘story’ starts. Remarkable is that the quality of the content that is watched before or after an ad also has a clear influence on the advertising impact.


The impact

In the end, we identified six factors which influence how people are dealing with ads; these formed a ‘checklist’ for STER’s clients whenever testing their online advertising impact:

  • Content: likeability of the content links directly to more conversion
  • Situation: high-attention vs low-attention context leads to different advertising approaches
  • Relevance: targeting the right way leads to more attention and less frustration
  • Position: ads need to be embedded in natural breaks, e.g., before or after a program
  • Device: snackable content and ads are more optimal for smaller devices
  • Creation: ad visuals and positioning need to follow the logical reading flow

“There is still much to explore when it comes to online video consumption and the online ad experience, therefore at Ster we wanted to conduct elaborate research, answering many questions. The project InSites Consulting set up was very versatile; by including quantitative and innovative research methods in a qualitative community InSites Consulting managed to answer all research questions within one project. This resulted in a deeper understanding of how to increase consumers online ad acceptance combined in an actionable whitepaper.”

Patricia Sonius, Manager Research & Development, Ster

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