Out: The New In?

Standard beliefs hold that online ads are more effective when they are “in-context”, or placed near relevant content. For example, perhaps you’re more likely to pay attention to an ad for a particular brand of paint if it’s next to an article about home improvement instead of next to an article about fashion. Well, according to new research from Yahoo!, that widely held belief may be false.

Yahoo! and MediaVest studied a group of consumers passionate about a particular topic (in this case, food), and found that ads displayed out-of-context had virtually the same impact as ads shown next to related content.

This data supports proof that targeting the right people may be more important and effective that targeting the right content, and new tools are making this level of targeting easy to achieve. It also supports the idea that advertising in nontraditional outlets may not provide the high quantities of response, but the quality of response and conversion to sales may be higher. So, the next time you want to run an ad promoting your new software, you might look beyond the typical technology trades. I’m not saying it makes sense for software vendors to advertise in Dog Fancy, but perhaps it’s time you look beyond Informationweek and consider that Jane Smith, avid reader of Conde Naste Traveler and CIO of a major Fortune 1000 company, may be your ideal customer.

Read more in this week’s AdWeek.

— Posted by Melissa Coyle

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