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Intent beats demographics for targeting video ads - and quality may not matter
28 August 2020 (Edited )
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Users targeted by intent watched ads longer, had +100% lift in purchase intent

New research by Ipsos for Google finds that targeting YouTube ads by user intent (e.g., in-market audience segments) produced response lift on 4 metrics vs. targeting on demographics:

  • Ad recall +32%
  • Awareness +167%
  • Consideration +267%
  • Purchase intent +100%

and also reduced ad skip rate by 10%, from 61% to 51%, and increased mean playback duration by 20%.


Researchers created 16 video ads related to 4 life events (getting married, buying a home, moving, home renovation) and 2 levels of targeting (demographics or intent) and delivered the various ad/event combinations 1800 times to users.

Interestingly, in a second experiment, researchers compared the effect of ad content quality on lift on those same ad metrics, and found no additive lift from broadcast-quality video vs. "endemic YouTube" quality video

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