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For Online Display, Less Can Be More

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NEW YORK When it comes to effective Web ads, integration is more powerful than "in your face," at least according to a new report issued by digital marketing researcher Dynamic Logic.

The new report claims that smaller display ads, which appear within a Web page's content, are often more impactful than larger, more intrusive ads that surround content for driving traditional brand metrics such as awareness and purchase intent. Specifically, Dynamic Logic found that in analyzing 2,390 display campaigns over three years, half banners (234 x 60 units) and rectangles (180 x 150) -- placements that are often included in media buys simply to bring down the overall CPM -- were more effective than larger, pricier placements such as leader-boards and skyscrapers.

That finding flies in the face of the current trend among Web publishers and advertisers, who are pushing toward larger, more interruptive online advertising as a way to funnel brand dollars away from TV. Currently, both the Online Publishers Association and the company ShortTail Media are testing several new oversized online ads.

But Dynamic Logic, which for over a decade has researched online ad campaign effectiveness, says that where an ad is placed may be more important than how big it is. "It will be interesting to see how the new, larger ad formats that publishers are beginning to debut will rank next to the more traditional online ad formats," said Ken Mallon, Dynamic Logic's senior vice president of custom solutions. "Based on the current data, bigger doesn't always mean better, but these new ad formats are quite unique, and we look forward to testing them."

Regardless, the researcher found that creative quality and level of sophistication are also key. For example, among the 2,000-plus campaigns it analyzed, rich media ads that featured video excelled in most branding categories, including awareness, brand favorability and purchase intent. Meanwhile, basic Flash ads, perhaps the most common form of display advertising, consistently achieved the lowest scores, per Dynamic Logic's research.


Nielsen Business Media