Brands agree that larger display formats boost awareness
Brands agree that larger displayformats boost awarenessMon, 19 Mar 2012 | By Lucy TesserasResearch finds larger formats twice as effective as standarddisplay.Brands find new larger online display formats for advertising are more effective at raisingbrand awareness, agreeing with Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) research that found thatwallpaper ads are twice as effective than more traditional formats.According to the IAB research, bigger formats, such as wallpaper, billboard and half-pageads (examples shown above from the Independent website) are more effective than traditionaldisplay formats, such as skyscraper, MPUs and banner ads.Carl Pring, Sony’s head of brand and advertising reckons the larger formats are moreengaging and provide more focus on increasing brand awareness, plus he said they are veryeffective at boosting audience response in terms of click-through rates.However, he added that the more standard, rich-creative formats, such as banners, MPUs andskyscrapers, are still a cost efficient and effective ways of “driving traffic and delivering theads to a wide reach of environments”.Jo Thornton, First Direct ad manager, said the type of format it uses depends on whatproducts and services it is looking to promote, but she added, “from a brand perspective,takeovers [or wallpapers] tend to be most effective in raising awareness.”She said that First Direct would use the format supported by a separate direct-responsecampaign.James Foord, VP of business development at shopping comparison site mysupermarket.co.uk,said, “We’re certainly seeing a dramatic improvement since using the larger formats.”However, he said it’s not so much about the size of the ads, but the fact they appear in muchmore prominent positions and above the fold that is the deciding factor. “The larger ads tendto, by default, have the better placements,” he said. “Skyscrapers are a bit more flexible interms of where you put them, so it’s not always in the best place for an impression.”Foord highlighted that along with exploiting the new larger format, delivering targeted ads isalso very important in building brand awareness and favourability.The IAB’s Size Matters study, which was delivered by research agency Millward Brown,measured the three new larger formats (billboard, wallpaper and half page), against the moretraditional formats (skyscraper, MPU and banner) across five key drivers: brand awareness,ad awareness, message awareness, brand favourability and purchase intent.
Tim Elkington, IAB’s director of research and strategy, said, “Advertisers pay a premium forthese new formats and everyone is really excited about them because they allow increasedcreativity, and it’s better for media owners because they appear around premium content. Butwe wanted to prove how well they actually perform.”In terms of aiding brand awareness, the research discovered that the wallpaper format wasaround twice as effective as the traditional formats.
“It points to a really exciting future with display ads getting bigger and brands reallyswitching on to the fact that online can be used to build brand awareness rather than justgenerating click throughs,” said Elkington.The research found that for ad awareness, the billboard has an average uplift of 16.6% whenlooking at people who have been exposed to these ads next to those that haven’t. Thatcompares to an average figure of just under 2% for the more established formats. So, if theadvertiser’s objective is ad awareness, then the billboard is performing eight times better thanthe formats advertisers have traditionally used.When respondents were asked to link up brands with the relevant message portrayed in an ad,it found that wallpaper ads had an average uplift of 5.2% compared to 0.7% for the traditionalformats.While for brand favourability, traditional formats delivered an average uplift of 0.7%compared to billboards, which delivered an uplift of 2.5%.The only place the older formats out did the new formats was in purchase intent, which sawthe skyscraper format performing 0.3% better ahead of wallpaper.Elkington said, “It shows that across those four metrics, brand favourability on billboardsdoes three times better than traditional formats; for message association, wallpaper is fivetimes better; for ad awareness billboard is eight times better than traditional formats; and forbrand awareness the wallpaper format is twice as good.”
The research was carried out over a two-year period across the UK, the US, mainland Europe,South America and Australasia. It was based on 770 campaigns and consisted of responsesfrom 765,000 participants.The results follow on from the IAB’s inaugural Future Formats awards, which saw TheTelegraph and Doubleclick’s Cascade multiplatform brand format crowned as the winner(nma.co.uk 1 March 2012).Elkington said the IAB would like to revisit the research next year to see how things havechanged. Once it has more data it could also start breaking down the findings by sector.The IAB is also in the process of reviewing the file size standard for display ads, because thecurrent 40K standard hasn’t been looked at for a number of years. It is due to publish itsfindings at the end of Q1 (nma.co.uk 3 February 2012).