Display Ads Lift Spending & Brand Engagement

June 26, 2009

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Brand Metrics | CPG & FMCG | Media & Entertainment | Retail & E-Commerce

Online consumers who are exposed to display advertising are 50% more engaged with advertisers’ brands and spend 10% more money online, according to a study commissioned by the Online Publishers Association (OPA) and conducted by comScore, Inc.

The OPA’s “The Silent Click: Building Brands Online,” (pdf) report highlights differences behaviors of online consumers who are exposed to display advertising related to specific branding campaigns and those who are not.

For consumers exposed to brand display-ad campaigns, the research found:

  • One in five visitors conduct searches related to the brand or display-ad campaign.


  • One in three visit the brands’ sites.
  • Users spend more than 50% more time than the average visitor to the brands’ sites and consume more pages.


  • Users spent about 10% more money online overall, and significantly more on product categories related to the advertised brands.
  • Higher income audiences visited the advertisers’ sites.

Brand vs. Direct-Response Measurement

OPA said that the time consumers spend with online content has grown from 32% in 2003 to 40% in Q109, making the web an ideal place to deliver brand messages to them:


However, to date, measuring a brand campaign meant relying on the click, a metric more appropriate for direct response advertising.
“In order to understand the value of the audiences that display advertising attracts, our study helps marketers think about real behavioral measures designed to move the needle,” said Pam Horan, president of the OPA.

Specific Content Categories

To understand if the environment that the advertising appears in has an impact on its effectiveness and more importantly the characteristics of the audiences that the different environments attract, comScore also analyzed some of the most popular consumer content categories (e.g., business, entertainment, news and sports) with a particular focus on advertising among high quality content sites, as represented by OPA members.

The research found that OPA members reach higher income audiences who are more likely to visit advertisers’ web sites where they spent significantly more money on related products and services. The results continue to reinforce why environment matters and how the brand halo effect is furthered among high quality trusted content sites, OPA said.

Findings related to specific content sites:

  • E-commerce spending by those visitors exposed to ads on OPA business news sites was 21% higher (a total of $334) than those exposed on the top 50 business sites.
  • E-commerce spending by exposed visitors on OPA news sites was 15% higher (a total of $426) than those exposed on the top 50 news sites.
  • E-commerce spending by those exposed to ads on OPA sports sites was 8% higher (a total of $241) than those exposed on the top 50 sports sites.

About the research: The analysis consisted of an assessment of 80 of the biggest branding campaigns across 200 of the most trafficked sites over a month’s time. It measured searches related to the advertisers’ brands, the traffic driven to those advertisers’ sites, and e-commerce transactions related to advertisers’ brands.

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