Report: Rich Media Boosts Brand Awareness Versus Other Online Ads

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Rich media ads garner higher brand awareness rates for online advertisers than other ad formats, according to a new report from DoubleClick, New York.

In its free "Evolution of Rich Media Advertising" white paper, DoubleClick found that rich media, including Flash and streaming ads, has a greater effect on advertisers' brand metrics than JPEG and GIF ads.

"The biggest impact was on ad awareness -- recall -- and message association, which is particularly important for advertisers," said Rick Bruner, research director at DoubleClick.

In a Dynamic Logic study for the second quarter, ad awareness increased 7.5 percentage points above the control group for GIF and JPEG ads compared with a 9-point jump for rich media, the DoubleClick report said. Also, aided brand awareness for the rich media ads rose 4 percentage points compared with 3.3 points for the JPEG and GIF ads.

Message association rose 5.3 points for the rich media ads compared with 4.7 points for other ads, and both brand favorability and purchase intent were 0.3 points higher for the rich media ads.

Consumers' brand awareness was highest in the auto, electronics, entertainment, pharmaceutical and travel industries when rich media was used, the report said.

Rich media can be more effective than standard formats because advertisers can track user interactions within the ads.

"Rich media tracking features far exceed what is possible from standard online advertising, not to mention traditional broadcast and print advertising," the report said.

The interactivity of some rich media ads, including ads that let users page through ads or play games, also makes them more effective, Bruner said.

DoubleClick found that advertisers are realizing rich media's advantages and using the format more often. Thirty-nine percent of Web display ad impressions for Fortune 500 companies in 2004 were rich media ads, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. Financial services firms use rich media advertising most, accounting for 50 billion impressions last year.

Automotive and telecommunications companies devoted more than half of their online impressions in 2004 to rich media. Entertainment companies devoted nearly half of all Web ad impressions to rich media, and consumer goods manufacturers were close behind at 39 percent.

Web portals and search engines dominate the market of rich media impressions. Web e-mail accounts have nearly 24 percent of all online rich media impressions while portals and search account for 19 percent. Yahoo alone accounts for 64 percent of all rich media on Web-based e-mail systems, followed by MSN with 32 percent.

The rich media trend will increase, Bruner said, estimating that the format likely will account for more than 50 percent of all online ad impressions in the next year.

Christine Blank covers online marketing and advertising, including e-mail marketing and paid search, for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting


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