Home Network, the Redwood City, Calif.-based broadband Internet access company, has released the results of its first study of "rich media," the TV-like interactive ads that can only be carried over the Net via high speed connections.
Not surprisingly, the study, co-developed with Intel and administered by Norwalk, Conn.-based Ipsos-ASI market research, found that broadband ads increase brand recall, engage viewers longer and offer a lower "cost per branding impression" than narrowband ads.
The five-month long Rich Media I Advertising Program included ads from AT&T, Bank of America, First USA, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Levi Strauss & Co. and Toys "R" Us. Results showed recall percentages were 34 percent higher than Ipsos-ASI's average for narrowband ads; comprehension and shift in brand imagery improved over narrowband benchmark statistics by 30 percent; and, consumers who clicked spent between 30 seconds and five minutes interacting with the ads.
"It's the culmination of what we envisioned online advertising doing," said Susan Bratton, director of Home's interactive advertising group. Six new marketers will participate in the second part of the study, including Ford, IBM, Lexus, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble and Showtime.
The study also defines "cost per branding impression" as the value of brand recall and viewer comprehension rates. "We can now assess an ad campaign at something above click-through," Bratton said.
The study opens the door for better understanding of how consumers will respond to broadband ads, according to Drew Ianni, a senior analyst with New York-based Jupiter Communications. "Ultimately, [broadband] will affect behavior," he said. "I think we have a ways to go because we need to understand the cognitive side of things." He added that brands that haven't made an effort to get online need to "wake up."
Consumers also preferred the broadband ad model to traditional media, the study said: 93 percent of those surveyed prefer broadband to print; 72 percent said they prefer it to television.
While the findings directly benefit Home, Bratton said they also are helpful to the industry. "We're trying to give the answers to the quiz to everyone else, without them making mistakes," she said.