Reaching consumers in the right mood could make digital ads 40% more effective

Reaching consumers when they're feeling "upbeat" could increase the effectiveness of advertising by 24% in general, and of digital advertising by 40%, according to a study.

Reaching consumers in the right mood could make digital ads 40% more effective

The Receptivity of Emotions study by Yahoo examined consumers’ emotional states and how receptive they are to advertising throughout the day.

The study found that US and UK consumers are "upbeat" 46% of the time, making it the most common mood. 

Yahoo claims that this research is one of the "most comprehensive studies ever conducted into the role that emotions play in consumers’ receptivity to advertising".

Using a recognised emotional measurement framework, Yahoo gathered more than 18,000 mood data points during a week-long study of consumers in the US and the UK using a specially developed smartphone app. This was supported by 12 qualitative interviews in the US and the UK, and an online survey of 1,000 people per country across the US, UK, Germany and Canada.

The research found that when consumers are feeling upbeat, they are 30% more likely to engage with native video content than in other emotional states. They’re also 28% more likely to engage with content marketing, and 21% more likely to engage with direct marketing.

The study found that a consumer's mood had the same effect on their likelihood to engage with digital ads as their current activity. 

For example, while 71% of consumers in these four countries would click on or read digital ads if they better reflected what they were doing at the time, two-thirds (67%) would do the same if the ads reflected how they felt. 

"Digital marketers all appreciate the importance of reaching the right person, on the right device, at the right time. But the ‘right time’ should be about more than the web page they’re viewing at that moment," Nigel Clarkson, managing director of Yahoo UK, said. "We should be striving to take a consumer’s emotions into account as well."

While the idea of engaging with consumers when they're in a good mood may seem obvious, the difference it makes to the impact of advertising has never been fully appreciated, he added. "Nor have we had concrete insight into when during the day this emotional state is most likely, and what types of marketing will benefit most."

So when in the day are consumers in the best mood? In the UK and the US, at least, most consumers were found to be feeling upbeat between 11am and 2pm, making these the optimal hours for digital advertising. The study showed that these hours of the day coincide with when consumers are most likely to be managing their lives, finding answers or looking for inspiration.

The study also showed that these hours of the day coincide with when consumers are most likely to be managing their lives, finding answers or looking for inspiration.

It's also the time of the day when smartphone users are 15% more likely to follow up on mobile advertising. Upbeat users are also 25% more likely to say that digital advertising on smartphones provides them with inspiring prompts.