Small Ads More Effective than ‘Framing’ Ads… but Stay Tuned for Data on New OPA Formats

August 21, 2009

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Smaller online ads may be more effective than their larger counterparts, a new study by Dynamic Logic found.The study shows that ad shape and placement may be more important than size. Half banners, at 234 x 60, and 180 x 150 rectangles were shown to be more effective than ads that frame the page, like high-profile leaderboards and skyscrapers. It is possible that users no longer see such framing ads because they have developed “banner blindness.”

In addition, smaller ads may be more effective because they tend to be better incorporated into the content of web pages.

However, that does not mean that larger ads don’t work, Dynamic Logic’s svp of custom solutions Ken Mallon says. He points out that the research was based on 2,390 online display campaigns that took place over the past three years – before the Online Publisher’s Association standardized three new oversized ad formats in March. Mallon says he believes the new OPA formats are likely to do “very well,” writes ClickZ.

The study also found that ads which used video had the best results in terms of branding goals such as brand favorability and purchase intent. Video campaigns worked best compared to campaigns using simple Flash (which worked the least well) and rich media without video. This is an issue which needs to be addressed at the agency level, Mallon says, as Flash campaigns are still the most popular with agencies and advertisers.

In addition to Flash-based ads, the most annoying – and the ones most likely to have a negative effect on a viewer’s opinion about the brand – are those which cover the content a user is accessing or are so busy that they’re difficult to decipher, AdAge reports.

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