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In a study to understand the effectiveness of in-content advertising, Whisper Media released insights on the effectiveness, efficiency and impact of in-content advertising (ICA) on TV audiences across GEC genres in India. The insights of this study on ICA were derived by Kantar and Orbit, a Singapore-based research and analytics company.

In-content advertising digitally embeds the advertising communication of brands into the content at the post-production phase and is deemed to be the most cost-effective and operationally efficient process in branded content integration, thereby retaining the editorial value.

Whisper Media has expertise in such integrations and began their India operations in January 2019. For the purpose of this in-depth study, Whisper Media shared two years of historical, anonymised data based on their 100 campaigns across 15 brands.

The research was undertaken across three broad parameters/metrics: reach, viewability and recall. The reach was measured by using BARC’s Yumi Analytics to ascertain the number of users exposed to the campaign, GRPs and frequency, both pre and post-campaign. The viewability was gauged using eye-tracking studies, which evaluated the attention and focus of the viewer on ICA placements and the time spent by them viewing the campaign. Finally, recall is an outcome of all parameters to understand the enhanced attention on the content.

Key findings of the study:

  • Across GECs, on average, 10 points increase is seen in spontaneous brand recall as compared to non-ICA campaigns, with Hindi-speaking markets and Tamil GEC showcasing an uplift of more than 15+ points
  • The eye gaze data indicates that close to 90% of the consumers have seen the brand/product via an ICA and typically spent about five seconds observing the same
  • Seven points jump noticed in the key message being recalled with ICA
  • While in-content embeds bring in uplift for the brand as well as ad recalls, it also pushes the intention to purchase/continue using the product by a small margin of four points in the regional GECs, hence pushing the overall likeability and favourability of the ad in the ICA format.
  • As compared to TV break ratings, viewership showcased a lift of close to 15% across campaigns with ICA


Anil Cheriyedath, Director, Marketing and Strategy, Whisper Media, said,” India is the largest content producer globally, and GECs remain the biggest drivers of this production where brands prefer to reach the target audience. Brand integrations have always been around in the entertainment industry, but with these studies, it shows the in-content advertising through digital embeds have also shown acceptance by brands and audience across all GEC markets, which include the regional and Hindi-speaking Markets. The challenge that integrations faced in India was the measurability aspect, and with that in place through BARC YUMI Tools, it has become easier to validate claims of showcasing the effectiveness of ICA campaigns through such unique studies”

The methodology for this survey was undertaken through two groups: controlled – not exposed to ICA and exposed to ICA. For controlled, the respondents were shown a combination of various TVCs like in a break, and for exposed, each of the respondents was shown a video of 5-8 minutes. Each group was asked to answer a few questions 10 minutes after watching the visual content.