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Visha Naul 

Why positive ad associations pay off for brands

Why positive ad associations pay off for brands

Visha Naul, director of business marketing, EMEA, at Pinterest discusses the power of positivity

The best advertising in the world moves people to think, to laugh or even to cry.

I’ve been moved by many an ad - whether it's a highly-produced glorious telly ad or thought-provoking OOH. But never quite a digital ad. Our feelings towards digital ads have often felt like they’re an annoyance or irrelevant, which in turn makes them less memorable, and ultimately therefore, less effective.

We’re seeing that after a year of uncertainty, consumers are taking back control where they can and are actively choosing positivity, particularly when it comes to what they engage with online.

From the brands they choose to follow to the types of content that resonates and stays with them, consumers are engaging in a more impactful way with content that brings joy and makes them smile.

This behaviour also extends to how consumers engage with online advertising.

Whilst clickbait headlines and controversy may attract attention, when it comes to actual purchases and brand engagement, ads showing up in a positive context matters and is especially important for consumers, now more than ever.

In fact, according to Pinterest insights, six in 10 adults agree that they’re more likely to remember those brands they encounter online when they feel positive, trust those brands that they see advertise in a positive space and purchase a brand when they see it appear in a positive space.

Additionally, two in three adults agree, it’s a brand’s responsibility to advertise in safe, positive places and avoid negative content.

With such groundbreaking results, we went deeper into the role of positive associations across different online environments and worked with Sparkler, part of PA Consulting, to conduct an implicit response test in the UK.

The beauty of this type of research is that it enables us to explore emotional responses that are not easy for people to express consciously.

The responses showed that Pinterest is:

  • 6.7x better at driving positive ad associations vs the world’s leading search engine
  • 1.2 x better at making ads feel inspirational vs competitor platforms
  • 1.4 x better at making ads feel authentic vs competitor platforms

It’s truly fascinating to see how the environment your ad shows up in can evoke a happier response towards that ad, and the role media platforms play in helping to create that connection.

I haven’t yet met a marketer that doesn’t want their audience to feel good about their advertising. Or has felt that they don’t want their ad to be remembered.

With consumers now being even savvier about their online ad consumption it’s even more critical to build trust between user, platform and brand.

For over 475 million people all over the world, Pinterest has always been a positive place to find ideas and inspiration, a place to help people make decisions to build a life they love.

Since the pandemic began and what became a tough and trying period that affected people’s mental health significantly, the reach for positivity grew even more.

And that's only become more true. In fact, in January and February this year, we saw the highest number of searches related to self care than any time during the pandemic.

Searches and interest in “positivity” are up 65% since this time last year - at their highest levels in Pinterest’s history, showing that now more than ever, platforms are responsible for creating and fostering positive online experiences for consumers.

It’s fair to say it’s no longer just a consumer-centred argument; when ads show-up in a more positive environment online, they can drive impact at every stage of the purchase funnel.

So whether you’re building brand awareness, consumer trust, or driving conversions, it quite literally pays to be positive.

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