BuzzFeed drives significant incremental growth in brand KPIs with cross-platform content

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Case study

BuzzFeed drives significant incremental growth

in brand KPIs with cross-platform content


Business challenge

BuzzFeed is one of the most well-known content providers online today. Being successful in this means that they need to understand the impact of each post and video they publish, especially when working with advertisers. BuzzFeed wants to be able to prove to its advertisers that showing their assets in conjunction with custom content on BuzzFeed’s social platforms is a good way to support brand health.

To drive brand awareness for one partner in particular, BuzzFeed needed to determine how different ad formats (like social assets, custom video or pre-roll) and platforms (Instagram, Twitter) impact consumer perceptions of the advertiser’s brand. They came to MetrixLab to understand and quantify how effective their ad formats were.

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Our approach

MetrixLab deployed a custom methodology that combines both brand lift and creative performance evaluation. To measure an ad’s brand impact, this approach starts with unforced exposure in a natural environment – respondents decide if and how long to engage with the ad, as they would in real life. Then, we assessed the following metrics to determine significant differences due to exposure to the ads in context.

  • Unaided awareness:
    Can respondents spontaneously identify the advertised brand?
  • Aided awareness: Do respondents know the brand when asked?
  • Brand favorability: Do respondents view the brand positively?
  • Consideration intent: How likely are respondents to consider purchasing the brand?
  • Key message endorsement:
    Does the key message of the ad resonate with consumers?

To further contextualize the results, we then asked viewers specific ad evaluation questions and compared results to our extensive benchmark database. These are the creative diagnostics we used to draw conclusions on the effectiveness of the ad: Relevance, unaided brand recall, brand interest and purchase intent.


Here is what the study results found:

Exposure to the campaign content boosted unaided awareness of the brand by 24 points. After seeing the ad, the brand became more top of mind for viewers.
Association of the brand with key messaging also improved with exposure. The ad helped viewers associate the specific message in the creative to the client brand, rather than its competitors.

unaided brand awareness-message association

Exposure to multiple content types resulted in bigger increases in KPIs.
A combination of Twitter, Instagram and video types worked even better together to drive unaided awareness and message association.

Viewers found the content to be memorable and relevant.
The custom video and pre-roll even generated purchase intent for the brand.

Benchmark comparison


What BuzzFeed told us

These findings enable BuzzFeed to better serve advertisers and generate more revenue because they have proof that showing client advertising along with custom content on their platforms can drive greater movement in brand KPIs.

“MetrixLab’s custom methodology has allowed us to measure brand impact for our advertisers across social platforms without having to sacrifice context,”

“This study helps us prove the incremental impact of running turnkey media such as Twitter pre-roll in conjunction with custom formats to increase campaign efficacy. MetrixLab’s creative expertise provides an added layer of understanding how BuzzFeed’s content performs relative to benchmarks and supports growth in KPIs.”

Shari Sternbach, Senior Manager of Ad Effectiveness at BuzzFeed.

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