What is Ad Recall Lift (People) and Should You Be Using It?

Updated: Jan 2

what is ad recall lift in Facebook Ads?
What is Ad Recall Lift (People) and Should You Be Using It?

If your ad emerges on a user's screen, it is counted as an impression, irrespective of whether or not it is viewed. Although the most extensively used metric for ad delivery – impressions are a flawed way of determining whether your advertisements are actually noticed.

And if they are not viewed, they cannot be remembered, evaluated, clicked through, or engaged with. Thus, before you can get viewers clicking and converting, it is imperative to first to know whether you are commanding attention.

This is where the 'ad recall lift' metric comes in.

If you don't know what it is, fret not.

We are here to answer the question 'what is ad recall lift' and should you be using it.

What is an ad recall lift?

Ad recall lift is a campaign social media metric that helps you measure how memorable your ad is to the audience. Conventionally, this has been measured by displaying ads to consumers and later asking them questions related to those ads.

Those questions can be as expansive as 'Do you remember viewing this advertisement?' or more specific, like 'Can you recall the brand/product this ad is for?'

However, today popular social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook have their own ways of quantifying ad recall, with the aim to allow advertisers to understand more about campaigns related to brand awareness.

Why use ad recall lift?

There is an issue online with the way brand awareness campaigns are evaluated - basic metrics do not divulge the entire story. Generally, a traditional mindset prevails despite many platforms utilizing advanced means for reporting.

Low clicks, high impressions = a bad campaign.

High clicks, low impressions = a good campaign.

But it is not that simple. To comprehend why we require an adequate understanding of these metrics and the continuum they exist on.

2 traditional metrics to determine ad performance

On one end, there is the most rudimentary of metrics: impressions.

They only indicate delivery, i.e., your ad emerged on a screen.

But in today's time when screens are crowded with content, knowing that an ad appeared isn't enough. A great impression count only indicates that there were 'opportunities' for the advertisement to be viewed, not that the ad was actually seen.

On the other hand, there is the click-through.

Mostly, click-throughs are the target for any ad campaign because they lead users to post-click landing pages – this is where conversion occurs.

Nonetheless, even brilliant ad campaigns suffer from poor click-through rates. Does that mean a campaign is a total failure?

Answer: No.

It just means the ad campaign was not able to attain its ultimate goal.

Between these two metrics, there are a plethora of questions:

- Was the ad actually viewed?

- Did it make any impact on the individual who viewed it?

- Was it engaged with?

The answers to these inquiries allow advertisers to determine where to go next. Discard the ads and head back to the drawing board? Or recoup a campaign that shows promise?

Ad recall lift empowers advertisers to take these decisions.

How is ad recall lift measured on Facebook?

The ad recall on Facebook is known as estimated ad recall, although the platform insists the 'estimate' is highly accurate.

The metric is available for targeting objectives like:

- Video views

- Page post engagement

- Ad recall lift optimization in the 'Brand Awareness Objective.'

The metric provides Facebook advertisers an indication of how many individuals would remember viewing their ad if they were questioned about it within two days.

Traditionally, the estimated ad recall metric was measured through ad recall surveys, but on Facebook, the firm's algorithm establishes who to deliver your ads to, based on:

Polling: The system continually learns by conducting thousands of polls on a random sample of ad campaigns every day that ask individuals if they recall an ad.

Behavior: Facebook considers over a thousand signals, like the relationship somebody has with your brand page, their probability of interacting with your ad, and so on.

With the help of machine learning, the platform estimates the results of a complete ad recall survey from its data for the metric.

Should you be using an ad recall lift?

As the buyer's journey turns more complex, it is more essential than ever to realize the metrics between click-through rate and impressions. When a person views an ad but does not click on it, what are they thinking? What are they doing? How are they reacting?

The answers develop the base for your ad campaign optimization.

At Pendragon Consulting LLC, we recommend you use ad recall lift as it offers an adequate sense of how memorable your ad is, and more importantly, it does not even require a momentous amount of budget.

You can measure the impact of video campaigns, which can provide a significant real business impact beyond direct conversions. For a company with the right budget, targeting mainly brand awareness, measuring ad recall can be highly valuable.

While it is excellent for expanding into a new market or introducing a new product, it is very difficult to tie to bottom-funnel metrics.

Brand awareness ad campaigns can profit from a highly memorable ad or one that knacks attention. Nonetheless, the aim of your ad must always be to get your audience to a post-click landing page; after all, that's where the conversion happens.


If you want to make your brand more noteworthy, Facebook's brand awareness campaign is indeed a good route to take. There's no doubt that the recall ad lift metric is more measurable and potent than simple impressions.

If you have any questions related to ad recall lift, contact us here or visit our website. Whether you are a financial advisor, realtor, or even a dental practitioner, we at Pendragon Consulting LLC will take care of your digital marketing needs.

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