Online Ads Need to Be More Engaging

    April 7, 2009
    Chris Crum

A study from McPheters & Company in co-operation with Condé Nast and CBS Vision found that magazines and TV ads are more effective than online ads. The study looked at 30-second TV ads, full-page 4-color magazine ads, and Internet banner ads in standard sizes.

They used eye-tracking software to determine the circumstances for when online ads were actually seen by participants. Highlights of the study include:

– Within a half hour, magazines effectively delivered more than twice the number of ad impressions as TV and more than 6 times those delivered online

– Though TV doesn’t deliver as many ads per half hour as do magazines, net recall of TV ads was almost twice that of magazine ads; magazines in turn had ad recall almost three times that of Internet banner ads

– 85% of Internet ads served appeared on-screen and could be identified by brand

– Among web users, 63% of banner ads were not seen. Respondents’ eyes passed over 37% of the Internet ads and stopped on slightly less than a third

– For Internet ads, almost all net recall could be attributed to ads that were seen

– Internet video ads appeared much less frequently than banner ads, and their exposure skewed heavily towards young men. When they did appear they were twice as likely to be seen as banner ads.

"Our findings indicate that we need to learn more about how to engage Internet users with advertising content," said Rebecca McPheters, CEO of McPheters & Company.

This week Google launched some new templates for rich media and video display ads. Advertisers using paid search might want to consider looking into something like that.

In fact those Google ads even have some analytical advantage. They let you place various products with unique landing pages within one ad. You can then examine which ones are performing the best and make necessary adjustments to your campaign.