Five rules to ensure the quality of your digital advertising

Posted on: Wednesday 16 December 2020 | IAB UK

What do consumers consider a high-quality online ad to be? And what steps can digital advertisers take to ensure they’re delivering a quality experience? 

Our understanding of quality is fundamentally subjective – what one person considers to be a high-quality ad won’t necessarily hold for another. To help us understand quality better, we went straight to the end-user – surveying over 200 UK consumers to explore what quality means to them and what factors lead to the perception of a higher quality online advertising experience.  

Working with research company Sparkler and our Display & Data Steering Group, we recruited users from a range of website and app categories. The results of the study reveal five key factors by which consumers judge online advertising. By taking these rules into account, advertisers can improve the quality of their online ads – an important factor given that 64% of people feel more positively towards brands they consider to have high-quality advertising. So, what are the five rule of quality? 

  1. Make it relevant: Don’t underestimate the impact of relevance – 71% of consumers say that being relevant to them is key to advertising getting their attention. Relevance has a positive impact on people’s perception of quality  

  2. Blend in: Ads that blend well with their environment are received better than ads that clash contextually. 67% of people agree that seeing ads that haven’t been properly blended with the surrounding environment is “really jarring”. Well-matched content is perceived as better quality.  

  3. Well-made = well done: Ads that are easy to understand, load well and stand out visually get top marks from consumers. People specifically mention liking ads that are colourful, funny, concise and “modern looking” with high production values. 

  4. Honesty wins out: Ads that are seen as fake or unrealistic are perceived as low-quality and “clickbait”, while authenticity and transparency resonate with consumers – driving up perceptions of quality.

  5. Don’t interrupt: Non-intrusive ads fare much better than ads that interrupt the consumer experience. Pop-ups are singled out by many as an invasion. It’s crucial to note that consumers have a much broader definition of what constitutes a pop-up ad, with any ad not in a fixed or expected position labelled as such.  

For more insights, download the research below.  


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