NEW YORK About three-quarters of respondents said online video ads were as good as television for learning about advertisers and more than six in 10 said they took some action after seeing Web spots, according to a study by TNS Media Intelligence sponsored by AOL and Google.
The study  also asked viewers about specific actions taken as a result of online video or TV ads during and before July 2007. Actions included visiting company Web sites, going to stores, talking to friends about products and making purchases.
In general, actions that involved online behavior, such as visiting sites or searching for product information, were equally prompted by TV and online video ads. For example, one-quarter of the respondents said they visited branded sites in July because of TV or video ads. But for offline behaviors, such as going to stores or to talking to friends, TV ads provided a stronger motivation. Nearly one in five people said they went to stores to check out products in response to TV ads in July, but only about one in 10 said they went to stores based on video ads that month.
While TV ads led video in offline actions, the influence of TV was less in July than in previous months. Video's influence, however, stayed relatively steady. For example, 26 percent of respondents said TV ads prompted them to search for product information before July, but only 17 percent reported taking the same action that month. The influence of video on such searches was basically unchanged at 16 percent before and 17 percent during July.
Consumers may also be growing more cynical about both video and TV ads. The most telling behavior, the purchase of a product, was less influenced by advertising in general in July, compared to the earlier period, according to the study. One-quarter of those surveyed said that before July they bought products in response to TV ads. Half as many, or 12 percent, said that was the case in July. Ten percent said they bought products in response to video ads before July, but only 7 percent said that was the case in July.
The online survey polled 2,096 U.S. adults under 55 from July 9-15 who said they had seen an online video ad. Findings were released Sept. 24.