Creative is critical
According to Eyeblaster’s “Global Benchmark Report 2009,” increasing ad size is not necessarily the best way to boost performance.
The company found that for banner ads, where size is the main component of ad visibility, bigger is generally better. But rich media ads such as expandable banners and floating ads saw improved results from different creative, rather than larger size.
Rich media ads, according to the report, “have more ‘dimensions’ than two—pixels are augmented by flash, video and expansions that catches the users’ attention. Therefore in Rich Media, size portrays only a part of the performance picture.”
Video, for example, improved performance significantly for most rich media ads, by 71% overall.
Eyeblaster found that expandable strips had the highest interaction rate of any rich media format, followed by expandable banners. Commercial breaks had the highest dwell rate, a metric that includes how long a user spent mousing over an ad or interacting with it in any way.
Among rich media ads that had a video component, expandable banners and polite banners had the longest average video duration, while push-down banners were most likely to be fully played.
“There is a tradeoff between unit sizes and other features, i.e. assuming constant budget, larger unit sizes means less video and rich content,” noted the report. “The main points of this analysis is that increasing unit size should be considered for Standard Banners, while for Rich Media, advertisers should focus on adding video, richer features and elaborate creative.”
User interactions with advertisements varied widely across industries, as well. Ads that raised awareness of a corporate brand, rather than specific products, had the highest interaction and dwell rates.
Electronics and automotive rich media ads with video were watched for the longest duration, while news/media ads were most likely to be played to completion.
Overall, Eyeblaster found that standard banners achieved an average click-through rate of 0.1% worldwide, compared with 0.3% for rich media ads.
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Check out today’s other article, “Low Growth, High Value for Local Online Ads.”