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Relevance Key to Increasing Display Ad Dwell Rate

Dynamic creative optimization, synced ads lead to higher rich media ad engagement

Many believe internet users have become desensitized to standard banner ads. Not surprisingly, advertisers look to more dynamic display ad formats such as rich media and video to capture user intent and boost engagement.

Among those formats, video ads might be the most engaging ad format so far. MediaMind (formerly Eyeblaster) found video kept users engaged 5.2 seconds longer, on average, than rich media ads. In addition, the portion of users who sought initial ad engagement was higher for video ads (6.3%) than for non-video rich media ad units (5.2%). Both metrics were calculated based on a sample of impressions worldwide collected from Q3 2010 to Q2 2011.

MediaMind used dwell rate and dwell duration to measure user engagement. Dwell rate measures the percentage of rich media impressions users intentionally engaged with by touch, interaction or click. Dwell duration is the length of time the user remains exposed to an ad after first engaging with it. To further ensure the validity of dwell rate, all interactions lasting less than 1 second were removed.

Though video can offer a more engaging experience than rich media alone, the study also found marketers can increase performance for both display types by increasing overall ad relevancy.

One ad tactic that increased engagement was dynamic creative optimization, which allows marketers to serve distinct sets of ad creative based on audience targeting data. Advertisers can determine the most relevant ad creative down to the individual viewer level and identify the best-performing ad creative accordingly.

MediaMind found ads that used dynamic creative optimization saw a dwell rate of 3.7% compared to 3.5% for non-optimized ads. More dramatic, however, was the difference in dwell duration: Creative-optimized ads averaged an engagement length of 42.5 seconds compared to only 38.5 seconds for non-optimized ads.

Ad syncing, another tactic, was also found to boost engagement. Though advertisers often use multiple ad placements on a page to draw a user toward distinct calls to action, by syncing ad creative on these placements to complement one another, advertisers can create a more cohesive and relevant page presence that is harder to ignore. Synced ads averaged a 6.6% dwell rate for impressions served worldwide; regular ads only saw a 5.6% dwell rate.

Interesting to note is that dwell duration decreased for synced ads. MediaMind posited this was a reflection of viewers dividing their time between the two ads.

Moving forward, advertisers looking to increase engagement with both their rich media and video ads should look to improve ad relevancy through dynamic creative optimization and ad syncing.

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Check out today’s other article, “Time Spent with Online Video Surpasses TV Viewing in China.”

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