Are Bigger Ads More Viewable? IAB Says Yes.

new-iab-logoThe debate about the value of ad viewability—and how to measure it—is long-standing and sometimes controversial. Typically, marketers are keen to see their ads in “above the fold” positions (the part of a website that’s visible without scrolling) where it is believed ads get the most exposure. However, impressions, the most common measurement for digital advertising, do not discern between how many ads are served versus how many ads are actually viewed.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has urged a shift in measurement from impressions to viewable impressions. However, IAB admits this type of measurement cannot be 100% reliable “because, different ad units, browsers, ad placements, vendors and measurement methodologies yield wildly different viewability numbers” (IAB Press Release, December 2014).

In the most recent development on improving the viewability of web ads, IAB has released a report that its bigger “Rising Star” ad placements delivered higher interaction rates than standard units. These super-sized units come in a variety of formats, from a 970×250 pixel Billboard to a 300×1050 pixel Portrait unit.

The report called “Rising Stars Ads and Brand Equity” was released in conjunction with C3Research. Key findings include:

  • IAB Display Rising Star Ads generate 4X more AD RECALL compared to Legacy UAP Ads.
  • IAB Display Rising Star Ads generate 3X more AD INTERACTION: 34% interacted with an IAB Display Rising Star Ad as compared to only 11% who interacted with a Legacy UAP Ad.
  • IAB Display Rising Star Ads show 30% Higher Brand Lift compared to Legacy UAP Ads. Brand Lift is even stronger for those who interact with the IAB Display Rising Star Ads.
  • Eye Tracking lab data shows 62% of Ad Impressions received a Gaze for IAB Display Rising Star Ads as compared to 38% for Legacy UAP Ads.
  • The average gaze duration per respondent in a session for IAB Display Rising Star Ads was 5X longer than Legacy UAP Ads (4.5 seconds versus 0.9 seconds respectively).

Despite these findings, the trend is likely to continue with marketers starting to favor non-traditional digital advertising (e.g. native) over display. Digital is constantly changing, but the goal remains: reach consumers in the right place and at the right time.

Further reading:

-Posted by Elizabeth Pace

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