IAB UK appoints UNLIMITED to understand & shift perceptions of digital advertising

Posted on: Friday 14 January 2022 | IAB UK

The project will take a multi-layered research approach to get under the skin of how advertisers really feel about digital channels, with these findings then informing phase two of the work - encouraging advertisers to feel proud investing in digital

Following a competitive pitch, IAB UK has appointed integrated agency group UNLIMITED to deliver an insight and creative project to understand and shift perceptions towards digital advertising.

While investment in digital advertising continues to grow, it is widely used as a direct response channel rather than for brand building or driving advertisers’ longer-term objectives. This project will unearth how marketers genuinely feel about digital advertising and whether there is a deeper, more emotional barrier to a more nuanced use of digital.

UNLIMITED’s Human Understanding Lab will use its expert capabilities in human understanding to better determine the relationship between advertisers and digital. The team aims to reignite enthusiasm for digital marketing amongst advertisers, agencies, commentators, and policymakers. This will be addressed through a multi-layered research approach to get under the skin of advertisers and understand the subconscious drivers of digital media adoption. Starting with a semiotic analysis of the industry’s current digital advertising narrative it will then use neuroscience to identify the implicit triggers that drive advertisers’ adoption of digital media. AAR managed the pitch process, with the first set of work to be activated in Spring 2022. 

James Chandler, IAB UK’s CMO, said: “While digital is an essential and irreplaceable part of the vast majority of media plans, there is a pervasive narrative that digital can’t build brands or bring advertisers stories to life in the same way as other media. This project will allow us to interrogate that assumption, understand how marketers truly feel about digital and, ultimately, how we can reset established thinking and encourage advertisers to feel proud investing in digital. We know that UNLIMITED will be true partners in that process, with The Human Understanding Lab’s approach to understanding human behaviour allowing us to unlock the insight we’ll need.”

Dr Simon Collister Director of UNLIMITED’s Human Understanding Lab added: “The IAB's brief specifically acknowledged it required an agency capable of using cutting-edge research techniques to achieve perception and behaviour changes. By putting a neuroscience and behavioural science approach at the heart of the response we were able to demonstrate how getting deep human insight through analysing subconscious beliefs and attitudes would enable us to deliver effective and lasting outcomes.”

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