September 17, 2012 06:00 ET

First-of-Its-Kind, Four-Screen Ad Effectiveness Study Reveals Screen Size Matters, but Clutter and Other Variables Matter Even More

Eye-Tracking and Biometric Feedback-Based Study by YuMe and IPG Media Lab Yields Insight Into Role of Screen Size, Ad Clutter, Creative Quality, and Context in Unaided Ad Recall

REDWOOD CITY, CA--(Marketwire - Sep 17, 2012) - YuMe, the leading provider of digital brand advertising software and services, in conjunction with the IPG Media Lab, part of IPG Mediabrands, today announced the results of the industry's first ad effectiveness study measuring emotional response, attention, and self-reported unaided recall by users across all four screens -- connected TV, linear TV, PCs, and smartphones. Findings show that while the size of the video screen did drive more excitement, variables such as ad clutter, creative content, and context had a much stronger influence on ad recall by viewers.

With consumer ownership of video-playing devices nearly doubling from 2000 to 2012 (1.97 devices per person in 2000, versus 3.96 per person in 2012)1, advertisers are faced with more platform choices for effectively reaching their audience. As such, media planners are increasingly wondering: are all screens created equal? To determine whether screen size matters, a controlled experiment that held video and ad content constant was set up at the IPG Media Lab in San Francisco. The study used self-reported surveys, observed video and ad exposure, and the latest eye-tracking and bio-feedback tools to assess the attention, excitement, and ad recall of 147 consumers.

Are All Screens Created Equal?
Although screen size is much hyped, the study shows that screen size did not play a significant role in ad effectiveness. Instead, three other controllable variables, identified by YuMe as the "Three C's," proved much more important:

1. Clutter -- TV proved effective at garnering attention and eliciting emotion, but fell short on ad breakthrough, due to clutter. Ad clutter appears to undermine the ad effectiveness of linear TV (27 percent successful unaided recall), compared to successful unaided recall with less ad time for connected TV (38 percent), mobile (35 percent) and PC (43 percent).
2. Creative -- Ad effectiveness varied greatly by the creativity of the ad.
3. Context -- The most engaging content attracted the most attention; and "lean-back" environments with less distraction, such as at home in bed, enhance viewer attentiveness to ads. Research shows that the couch is now the ultimate multi-screen environment, while the bed represents the ultimate single-screen environment. 

"In today's fully-mediated world, the need for both marketers and media companies to understand how content and consumer attention function across screens is more important than ever," said Brian Monahan, managing partner, Magna Global Intelligence, the insights and investment unit of IPG Mediabrands. "I believe this is by far one of the most extensive four-screen studies the IPG Media Lab or the industry has ever undertaken to measure consumer attention, excitement and ad recall. Together with YuMe, we expect media buyers and planners to leverage the many insights we've uncovered, and to dramatically improve their effectiveness reaching consumers within the evolving media and device landscapes."

"Our annual industry-leading research into ad effectiveness helps brands and agencies make better sense of the rapidly evolving media opportunities they encounter," commented Ed Haslam, senior vice president of marketing, YuMe. "Consumer attention is fragmented across screens amid a dizzying array of content, and viewing habits differ by time of day. This year's study takes these factors into account and finds that clutter-free ad environments give advertisers the greatest ROI, regardless of screen size. What's more, connected TV -- essentially TV 'without the clutter' -- yields strong viewer attentiveness, emotion and recall, and represents a prime opportunity for ad breakthrough."

Clear Implications for Media Buyers and Planners:

1) Clutter free environments, regardless of screen size, are a good value
2) Advertisers without media budgets for high gross rating point (GRP) TV campaigns should consider moving to screens with less ad clutter to ensure campaign breakthrough
3) Creative testing is strongly recommended whenever possible -- and digital video is a great platform for testing different ad creatives
4) Since prime-time for linear and connected TV is also the peak time for second-screen usage, consider buying placements across devices during this day part when planning for duplication

For more on the results of this study and the related video, please visit:

About YuMe
YuMe is the software infrastructure provider powering digital video and the next generation of television with its operating system for TV 2.0. Its video advertising technology and services seamlessly connect advertisers, app developers, content distributors, consumer electronics manufacturers, and publishers across the globe. YuMe's patent-pending Relevance Engine powers its premium in-stream video ad network, the YuMe Connected Audience Network, and its industry-leading advertising management solutions, ACE for Publishers and ACE for Advertisers. The YuMe Relevance Engine matches the right ad to the right audience on whatever screen they are viewing -- PC, mobile, or connected TV. YuMe is a privately held company headquartered in Redwood City, CA with its European headquarters in London. The company is backed by Accel Partners, BV Capital, DAG Ventures, Intel Capital, Khosla Ventures, Menlo Ventures, Samsung Ventures, Translink Capital and WestSummit Capital. For more information, visit, follow @YuMevideo on Twitter (, or like YuMe on Facebook at

YuMe is a trademark of YuMe. All other brands, products or service names are or may be trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.

1 Source: Magna Global Media Economy Report, June 2012.

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