The Science That Proves Relevance is the New Reach

Contributors: Neurons, IPSOS
Original Article: Campaign Middle East,

Editor: Mehr Hussain

Advertisers and brands need to start capturing share of heart and mind over the sheer reach alone that they have been traditionally aiming for. People love TikTok because of its authentic uplifting content and because it serves communities the kind of content they are passionate about. Not only has TikTok built an eco-system that fosters authenticity and relatability, it rewards its community of creators, collaborators and brands for making its users feel positive and included. It does so by providing advertisers with a streamlined model to deliver effective relevance.

We've shown that Relevance is the new Reach, and now we have the neuroscience to prove it!

TikTok commissioned a study with Ipsos and Neurons to understand the value of TikTok compared to other key digital platforms as well as explore the user's engagement while using the TikTok app in the context of visual attention in multi-screening environment, interest, emotional engagement and information processing. 200+ users participated in this research from Apr 2021 – Jul 2021 across four (4) MENAT markets (KSA, UAE, Egypt and Turkey)

But first, what is Neurosciene? And why should it matter to marketers?

According to Neurons, the company behind this particular study, Neuroscience data can track audience responses as they unfold, second by second. How they respond emotionally to each individual element. What their comprehension levels are during the experiences and so on.

Neuroscience is the scientific discipline that analyzes the structure or function of the nervous system and brain. Did you know that 90% of all decisions are subconscious? (according to Neurons) That's why neuroscience is so important to understand this sweet spot of decision making.

This means that feelings play a big role in the purchase decision. There is a global study proving people buy what feels right, in fact feeling has 1.5 times more impact than thinking. So, we can talk about understanding decision making behaviour all day long from observed behaviour but unless you have neuroscience to understand the feelings behind the decisions, you're only getting half the picture!
And what feels right can be triggered through 4 key brain attributes.

Starting with Visual Attention where users scan and filter out what’s relevant and what’s not, then they start displaying an interest or preference towards the viewed content which we call Motivation. And that’s when the brain starts processing and understanding the displayed information (Cognitive Load), which builds an emotional connection with the subject matter (Arousal).

Now, this may seem complicated and a bit in the realm of science fiction for the more skeptical among you. But the foundations of neuroscience are far more intuitive than you think and they may just remind you of a very popular song. The way neuroscience works is that it tracks what you See, what you Like, if you Want it and eventually you'll Get it.

I See it is the visual attention, I Like is the Motivation and I Want it is the Cognitive Load and Arousal.

All brands have to work towards is getting customers to the “I Got it” phase.
So, we customized an experience to understand the logic behind the song and unlock this power. You see it, you like it, you want it? You got it!

For the first time, in this study, we are using next-gen design that looks at human reactions and not only claimed responses. And the results were astonishing.

So, what did IPSOS and Neurons learn?

Behold the relevance neuro triangle, where TikTok delivered great results across all key attributes.
  • You See it where users showed undivided attention when they are on TikTok
  • You Like it with intensive emotional engagement from TikTok content and especially ads
  • And You Want it with unsurpassed ad interaction that leads to higher purchase intent

Let's deep dive into each one of these attributes.

Multiscreening is huge, in fact according to GWI (Global Web Index 2021) it represents 93%* of people's media consumption while watching TV, with mobile leading it.

But according to Ipsos and Neurons TikTok commands undivided attention, in fact 92% of total multi screening experience was spent on TikTok, wow!

You might be asking what about the other 8%? This was the buffer happening between videos, where users would quickly look between screens but then come back to TikTok. TikTok is the #1 Platform in garnering user's attention when it comes to multi-screening environment, with almost no multi screening. That's why you can't TikTok and…do anything else!

And we can rest assured knowing people buy what feels right with “feeling” having 1.5 x more impact than “thinking” on TikTok. Ipsos and Neurons found that emotional intensity and engagement is at its highest on TikTok, compared to other channels, which means TikTok proved to be the most influential platform for advertising.

And the same experience resonates throughout the platform from content to ads, where we have seen higher levels not only in emotional intensity, but also optimal levels when it comes to understanding the displayed information. Simply because they enjoy the advertising experience on the platform; with “entertaining” being a unique strength owned by TikTok.

We have seen many studies that show that people are no longer interested in traditional ads. The Global Web Index (GWI) recently indicated that 36% of people in MENAT block digital ads. But luckily TikTok has changed the way in which people view and consumer ad content creating a whole new appetite for brand stories and “brandtertainment” (that's brand entertainment). In fact not only are TikTok ads being watched longer than ads on other platforms; they gain more interest as time goes by versus becoming stale as ads tend to do.

And what does this mean for advertisers?

This study by Neurons/IPSOS and the findings represent a phenomenal opportunity for brands to tell their stories and it all starts with great content; it shows that TikTok provides undivided attention that guarantees unparalleled awareness levels because of the nature of the platform and its authentic community that provides unmatched relevance.

And not only does TikTok provide undivided attention, it is also appearing as the most influential platform because of it's relevant experience that drives high levels of consideration.

We know that people buy what feels right – aka what is relatable and relevant – and when we capture their minds and hearts, users will have a strong recall of the brands advertised and will more likely buy it – or should we say “Get It”.