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More-Interactive Display Formats See Higher Engagement, Dwell Rates

Static banners underperform compared to newer digital formats

Does it pay to be polite? Perhaps not, at least for online display advertisers looking to up their engagement rates.

Standard banners have notoriously low clickthrough rates, and although mobile has increased the banner’s effectiveness, that effect may prove temporary as the novelty of mobile advertising wears off.

While the standard banner may be increasingly seen as an underperforming display format, research indicates other, potentially more intrusive formats will help advertisers see higher engagement in return for their efforts. When MediaMind compared dwell rate and average dwell duration for polite banners to several more interactive formats, such as homepage takeovers, interactivity and creativity won out. A homepage takeover lifted dwell rates 32% over those for a polite banner, and lifted average dwell duration 67%.

An even higher increase in dwell rate was seen for video extender ad formats, which allow web users to expand a video ad, making it easier to watch the kind of longer-form, creative-focused video ads that often perform well.

Dwell rate and average dwell duration were boosted most significantly by ads within instant messenger clients, where marketers have an opportunity to reach users as they wait for the next chat message to come through. Pushdown banners, with a 164% lift in dwell rates over polite banners, performed almost as well—but also exemplify the dangers associated with some of these interactive ad formats. Although a user only has to scroll further down the page to see publisher content once a pushdown banner is activated, that level of intrusiveness on the browsing experience can still be a turnoff.

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 the dwell rate measure, all interactions lasting less than 1 second were removed.

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Check out today’s other articles, “Can Any Competitors Catch the iPad?” and “Online Ad Growth Resilient Despite Spain's Economic Woes.”

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