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Ad recall: the impact of memorable experiences in today advertising landscape

June 29, 2023

An example of banner optimization made to maximize Ad recall

Welcome back to the Aryel’s blog, where fellow marketer like you comes to rest their fatigued monkey brain after a long day of marketing nuisance.

In an era where consumers’ attention is the scarcest of resources, the ability to make a lasting impression has become the lifeblood of success. We find ourselves in a digital marketing landscape that’s perpetually evolving, where survival is no longer dictated solely by your brand’s strength or speed. The game-changers today are those who adapt fluidly, who have the ability to blend into the crowd one moment, and in the next stand out with an undeniable presence.

As we embark on today’s exploration, we grapple with questions that have permeated human consciousness for centuries. Will I be remembered? What will endure of me long after I am gone? Translating these existential dilemmas into marketing language, we ask: Will my campaign create a lasting impact? Will it echo in my customers’ minds?

At the heart of these questions, we encounter a concept as old as marketing itself, yet more relevant today than ever before – ad recall. But what exactly is ad recall, and why is it such a critical player in today’s hyper-competitive marketing arena? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll unravel the mysteries of ad recall. We’ll dive deep into its definition, its importance, and the ways to measure and maximize it.

Why? Because in the grand theater of brand marketing, those who are remembered, chosen, and loved by their audience enjoy the sweet taste of victory.

Ad recall: what is it?

We bet you encountered the term “ad recall” at some point, but have you truly grasped its essence? Let’s demystify what ad recall is and why it’s such a big deal.

To put it simply, ad recall is the likelihood of a consumer spontaneously remembering an advertisement from your brand when a related topic arises. Consider it the strength of your advertising campaign to surface from the recesses of consumer memory in pertinent situations.

But let’s make something clear – this is not about simply recognizing a logo. It’s significantly more profound. Ad recall relates to your brand’s advertisement being the first thing that comes to a consumer’s mind when thinking about a specific product, service, or industry. It’s your brand, not just your ad, that takes center stage in the consumer’s mind.

Why does it matter? Because ad recall contributes significantly to top-of-mind brand awareness for customers. It works hand in hand with brand recognition, coaxing consumers to spontaneously associate your brand with their needs. Let’s say you’re a coffee brand – when someone wakes up craving a cup of coffee, your brand is what you want them to first think of. Ad recall can help you with that.

There are other aspects to factor in, like brand experience. This is the collective impression left by all your brand’s touchpoints on your target audience. The better the experience they have with your brand, the more likely they are to think of you when their need arises. It’s not so much a tactic to improve awareness but rather an overarching factor. However, when you get the brand experience right, you’ll have people talking about you and, more importantly, remembering you when they require something you provide.

In essence, ad recall is the mental bookmark consumers place on your brand. It’s their brain saying, “I remember these guys. They were great last time. Let’s go with them again.” Ad recall is a priority – because nothing screams success louder than a brand that’s remembered, chosen, and loved by its customers.

Why does improving ad recall matter?

As Simon Sinek suggests, let’s start with “why”. Why is ad recall so crucial? Why should you, as a brand and a marketer, pay attention to it? These are not just idle questions – their answers form the backbone of successful advertising strategies.

Ad recall can improve paid social advertising. It’s like your personal, trusted critic, giving you a deep dive into which ads are hitting the right chords and which might be falling on deaf ears. Memorable ones are more likely to steer your audience towards a purchase. They convey their message effectively and induce brand awareness, which ultimately converts to brand recall.

So, what can ad recall do for your business? There are 3 main benefits:

  • It gives you a competitive edge: if your brand is at the top of consumers’ minds when they think of a product, they’re more inclined to purchase from you than your competitors. Making an unforgettable impression can make a big difference, leading to repeat purchases and ultimately turning your customers into fans. Statistics show that around 60% of global consumers prefer to buy products from a brand they know rather than switch to another brand.
  • Strengthens your brand equity: the more consumers think of your brand first, the higher your chances of building brand equity. This is the bonus value of brand recognition added to your products and services. This additional value can be incredibly persuasive, because consumers tend to buy from brands they trust.
  • Boost your sales: being the first brand that pops up in customers’ minds when they’re contemplating a purchase ultimately increases the chance of them buying your products. In a world where consumers interact with brands before they even set foot in a physical store, ad recall can make a big difference in driving sales.

So, when we ask, “Why does improving ad recall matter?” the answer is clear – it’s the lifeblood of your brand’s visibility, competitiveness, and ultimately, success. As we progress further on our journey, let’s take a closer look at how to measure ad recall.

Measuring ad recall: how to do that?

Let’s be honest here. Measuring ad recall might not be as straightforward as we’d all like it to be. You could say, in the most simplistic terms, that ad recall is measured by the percentage of people who saw or engaged with your brand. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This data alone isn’t enough to make informed decisions. The real beauty (and challenge) of ad recall calculation lies in the method used.

In the good old days, large traditional media placement agencies would gather physical ad recall groups or approach people on the streets. But, as we know, times have changed and today, ad recall is most commonly found on platforms like Facebook and YouTube.

Let’s zoom in on Facebook, for instance. Their magic wand is a tool called the estimated ad recall lift metric. This clever tool predicts how many people are likely to remember your ad if asked about it within 48 hours of seeing it. The estimate is based on the reach of your ads and the likelihood of an individual recalling what they saw. Facebook then tweaks this estimate with ad recall lift surveys to create a more accurate picture.

Now, you might ask – how does Facebook guess how likely someone is to recall an ad? Well, they’ve got heaps of data to help. Their algorithm sifts through potentially thousands of factors and scores them. Questions such as – Does the user already interact with your business page? How often do they engage with ads? What’s the user’s daily Facebook usage? Does the user’s interaction dip if the content is sponsored? – all play a part in this calculation.

On the other hand, we have YouTube, with a similar yet distinct ad recall algorithm. They also calculate metrics to assess consideration, purchase intent, and awareness. They cleverly use surveys to target two groups – one that hasn’t seen the ad and one that has. By comparing the responses, they gauge whether your ad was memorable.

But YouTube doesn’t stop there. They have a tool called Brand Lift, which extends beyond traditional ad recall metrics. It monitors organic searches for your brand on Google and YouTube to check if your campaign is creating ripples beyond its immediate pool. Using the same two-group approach, they compare behaviors to draw insights.

How to maximize ad recall

Ad recall may seem like an elusive marketing concept at first. But with the right approach, your brand can achieve the coveted position of being the first to pop up in consumers’ minds.

What influences ad recall, you might ask? There are several factors to consider, such as the ad type, its placement, the target audience, and the level of exposure. Additionally, the viewer’s age, memory, attention span, and motivation to remember the ad can significantly influence ad recall.

Now, how can you, as a marketer, turn these factors into strategies to improve ad recall? Here are some best practices:

  • Ensure device compatibility: studies reveal that people are twice as likely to recall your ad if viewed on multiple devices. Therefore, your ads should be optimized for all devices – desktop, mobile, and tablets.
  • Design standout adverts: in the age of information, people are exposed to adv between 6,000 to 10,000 times a day. Your message can struggle to stand out. If it’s a static message, think creatively and try to present it in an innovative way. If it’s a video, ensure the first few seconds are exceptionally engaging.
  • Experiment with ad content, type and format: test multiple messages and different types and format of creatives – video, text, or picture-based adverts. The aim is to identify what your target audience responds to best – and differentiate from competitors.
  • Experiment with ad placement platforms: sometimes the place where customers see your ads affect its performances, even in terms of ad recall. Therefore it can be beneficial to test different placements and ad networks, to see how their impact on performances.
  • Stay true to your brand: while standing out is critical, deviating too far from your brand’s identity could do more harm than good. If you’re considering changing your approach, test it on a small focus group first and iterate from there.

Adding another dimension to our understanding of ad recall, the Creative Insights Report by TikTok offers invaluable data-driven insights on how creative elements can effectively enhance ad recall. Their meta-analysis reveals that when an ad provides tangible product information, such as tutorials or reasons to purchase, there is a increase in ad recall by 4%. This suggests that information-rich content is key in making an advertisement stick in consumers’ minds.

Music also plays a critical role. The report found that ads featuring any song, regardless of its genre or popularity, experienced a 2% lift in ad recall compared to ads without music.
Furthermore, explicitly showcasing product benefits or claims gives a 3% boost in ad recall. Clearly articulating the unique value proposition your product offers can help etch your brand deeper into consumer memory.

Perhaps most strikingly, the use of characters, be they human or animated, can give a whopping 8% boost in ad recall, compared to ads relying on visuals alone. Characters breathe life into advertisements, adding a layer of relatability that sticks with consumers.

Ad Recall infographic: impact of visual on brand's ad recall

Remember, maximizing ad recall isn’t an overnight process. It requires consistent effort, regular reassessments, and a keen understanding of your audience’s preferences. But with the right strategies in place, your brand can make an unforgettable impression, encouraging customers to remember, choose, and love your brand over others.

Final thoughts: ad recall and its impact on consumers choice

In a dynamic marketplace where consumer attention is a coveted resource, your brand’s recall value holds paramount significance. Your brand’s ability to echo in consumers’ minds long after they’ve encountered your advertisements, is not just a competitive advantage – it’s a necessity.

Why does ad recall matter so much nowadays? It’s because we live in an era saturated with advertisements, with consumers exposed to thousands of ads daily. Amidst this clutter, only brands that imprint themselves effectively on the consumer’s memory make a lasting impact.

But how do you secure this precious spot in consumers’ minds? The answer lies in content innovation. A creative, original, and compelling advertisement can cut through the noise and resonate with consumers, stirring emotions, and creating memorable experiences. In today’s digital age, content innovation in advertisements is no longer a luxury, but an essential tactic to seize and maintain consumers’ attention.

So, the question remains – is your brand ready to navigate this complex landscape and emerge as a top-of-mind choice for consumers? If so, we’re here to assist. Book a demo today with our sales team, and together, we can harness the power of Augmented Reality rich media to create an unforgettable brand experience.