User-Generated Video can Complement Traditional TV and Digital Ad Campaigns :Study

comScore, Inc. and EXPO Communications, Inc. have announced the results of a study on the marketing potential of user-generated video content.

The results indicate that the highest performing user-generated product reviews contained many of the sales effective elements seen in professionally-produced television commercials. Furthermore, the rates of presence of many of these elements were greater than those typically seen in the rival digital format of banner and rectangle display ads.

Videos were scored using comScore ARS’s content assessment methodology, ARS Zipline, which is used in the marketing industry as a means of quantifying the potential of advertising creative to be recalled and to persuade consumers.

“The results of our research suggest that user-created video is a format that not only yields promising persuasive executions, but does so in a way that complements traditional forms of media,” said Frank Findley, Vice President of comScore ARS. “When advertisers think of user-generated content, they mostly consider the impact of creative going viral. By applying our research methods to EXPO consumer product review videos, comScore ARS is helping to develop a broader understanding of this unique marketing format.”

In the research, a sample of twenty-five video product reviews across various categories (including electronics and consumer packaged goods) was selected and evaluated according to their inclusion of content known to be key drivers of persuasiveness and memorability. The product reviews were drawn from the EXPO online product review database in a manner similar to that used by advertisers when searching the database for marketing content. The TV and digital ads were selected from the ARS database, which includes ads that were pre-screened by clients and then submitted for qualification via copy-testing.

To further quantify the results, the videos were scored on a scale of 1-100 based on comScore ARS’s validated elements of video persuasiveness and memorability, such as the presence of rational, emotional and structural attributes. The distribution of scores for the 25 select cases demonstrated that there is potentially much marketing value to be mined from user-generated video content. Among the highest performing videos were reviews for Clairol, Gain, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, LG Electronics and Apple.

“It’s no surprise that consumers can persuade each other, but it is surprising that in consumer-produced video, people are naturally exhibiting behaviors that years of research have found to be persuasive in professional television commercials,” said Joe Torpey, Director, Digital Marketing for LG Electronics USA, Inc. “Brands are only beginning to uncover the value that lies in giving consumers their own voice on the social web.”

The study also revealed that the user-generated videos displayed their greatest strengths in areas different from other forms of media. When conveying their experiences, the product reviewers were naturally more apt to focus on the product and its attributes. This resulted in a strong branding presence and communication of such elements as product convenience and quality, which are key rational elements in increasing an ad’s persuasiveness to a prospective buyer.

“We have always believed that the sincerity and real-world experiences demonstrated by our members in their videos would be persuasive to other consumers,” said Daphne Kwon, co-founder and CEO of EXPO. “The amazing thing is that these results weren’t the outcome of the investment in time and money advertisers spend on perfecting their TV commercials. These videos were created by EXPO members who were just trying to convey their actual, unbiased product experiences to other consumers.”

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