Break Media, the Internet's premier entertainment community for men, and Panache, the video advertising delivery-platform leader, today announced key findings from joint research which tested the effectiveness of four popular in-stream video advertising standard formats established by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) in May, 2008.
Leading brands, including Honda and T-Mobile, participated in the study by running campaigns run-of-site on Break.com over an 11 week period, which concluded on August 2, 2008. Each campaign used the four IAB standardized ad units:
- linear non-interactive (pre-roll)
- linear interactive (interactive pre-roll)
- non-linear non-overlay invitation ad (non-overlay ad)
- non-linear overlay (overlay ad).
The ads ran against short-form professional, semi-professional and user-generated content on Break.com with Panache providing the ad delivery and back-end reporting technology to test user interaction and engagement levels with each ad format.
"The standardization of video ad formats by the IAB was a critical first step in streamlining media buying, planning and creative processes across the digital video medium,” said Keith Richman, CEO of Break Media. "Our research was a result of our desire to provide data about the effectiveness of those new standards to our clients and partners, and to lay a foundation for future research initiatives to build and expand upon.”
Break Media and Panache were able to mine the data for trends and insights into consumer behavior and online engagement using the various ad formats.
- Overall results demonstrate the high engagement levels of tested ad units and that marketing objectives should drive creative development
- Pre-roll offers a strong call to action (click-thru rates averaged 10%); Non-Overlays' strength appears to be in building brand awareness (78% viewed the ad for more than 15 seconds, a majority of the time)
- Pre-roll showed surprisingly high engagement with incredibly high click-thru rates when interacting with a targeted audience
- Completion rates for both 15 second pre-roll and interactive pre-roll averaged 87%
- Pre-roll click-thru rate for the 15 second spot was close to 10%
- Interactive pre-roll click-thru rate for the 15 second spot ranged between 11% higher and 35% higher than non interactive pre-roll depending on the nature of the call to action
- The overlay ad yielded high exposure and overall engagement
- 77% viewed campaigns with the overlay ad for at least 15 seconds and click-thru rates were five times industry averages for standard in-page media
- Media-rich creative with bold colors and animation resulted in increased click-thru rates
- Click-thru rates almost tripled for the non-overlay ads when using brighter, vibrant colors (.045 vs. 0.13%)
- When using interactive pre-roll ads, having the entire ad clickable appeared to impact call to action
- Click-thru rates were four times as high when the entire ad was clickable vs. just the call to action.
"For the in-stream advertising market to evolve, the efficacy of ad formats—whether IAB-standard or new emerging formats—needs to be understood in order for our industry to scale,” said Steve Robinson, CEO of Panache. "This research begins to fill the knowledge gap between the formation of standards and the prophetic future of an efficient and scalable online advertising industry.”
"This study offers a window into the measurable effectiveness of new video ad formats, and it moves forward the broader discussion of online brand-building and advertising,” said Daniel Taylor, senior analyst at Yankee Group. "As the industry develops new ways to engage online audiences, it's important to benchmark the progress we make. By making this study public, Break and Panache have advanced the entire industry.”
The study conducted by Break and Panache provides a guide for advertisers looking to validate online ad spend and determine the best format and creative to lift key engagement metrics and build brands. It is also intended to spur additional insight on best practices for brands advertising online.