Park, Sungho, Gene Moo Lee, Donghyuk Shin, Sang-Pil Han. “When Does Congruence Matter for Pre-roll Video Ads? The Effect of Multimodal, Ad-Content Congruence on the Ad Completion“, Under Reject and Resubmit, Management Science [Decision: July 2021]
- Previous title: Targeting Pre-Roll Ads using Video Analytics
- Funded by Sauder Exploratory Research Grant 2020
- Presented at Southern Methodist University (2020), University of Washington (2020), INFORMS (2020), AIMLBA (2020), WITS (2020), HKUST (2021), Maryland (2021), American University (2021), National University of Singapore (2021)
- Research assistants: Raymond Situ, Miguel Valarao
Pre-roll video ads are gaining industry traction because the audience may be willing to watch an ad for a few seconds, if not the entire ad, before the desired content video is shown. Conversely, a popular skippable type of pre-roll video ads, which enables viewers to skip an ad in a few seconds, creates opportunity costs for advertisers and online video platforms when the ad is skipped. Against this backdrop, we employ a video analytics framework to extract multimodal features from ad and content videos, including auditory signals and thematic visual information, and probe into the effect of ad-content congruence at each modality using a random matching experiment conducted by a major video advertising platform. The present study challenges the widely held view that ads that match content are more likely to be viewed than those that do not, and investigates the conditions under which congruence may or may not work. Our results indicate that non-thematic auditory signal congruence between the ad and content is essential in explaining viewers’ ad completion, while thematic visual congruence is only effective if the viewer has sufficient attentional and cognitive capacity to recognize such congruence. The findings suggest that thematic videos demand more cognitive processing power than auditory signals for viewers to perceive ad-content congruence, leading to decreased ad viewing. Overall, these findings have significant theoretical and practical implications for understanding whether and when viewers construct congruence in the context of pre-roll video ads and how advertisers might target their pre-roll video ads successfully.