It's like the difference between watching a movie in a theater or on a 14" TV -- or a glossy full-page magazine ad vs. a small classified. Yes, format matters. Online, larger ads that occupy a bigger portion of the screen and use high quality images and video can make a big impact on results. In fact, it's the creative that drives performance. According to comScore, the creative has four times the impact on results as the media plan does. An analysis of 400 campaigns indicates that the creatives contributed to 52 percent of the overall results, while the media plan contributed to just 13 percent.
Furthermore, research by Dynamic Logic on mobile banners shows that while average creative has a positive lift in brand awareness, message association, brand favorability and purchase intent, the bottom echelon of creatives has an adverse effect on performance. The lowest performing creatives actually reduced brand awareness by 2.7 percent, brand favorability by 4.9 percent and purchase intent by 4.0 percent.
The question is, with online branding becoming more important for advertisers, how can creative formats be best used to build a brand? According to eMarketer, users spent 25 percent less time reading newspapers and magazines over the past two years while devoting 10 percent more time to the internet -- and a whopping 50 percent more time consuming mobile. As users spend less time with magazines, advertisers must find new ways of delivering a powerful branding experience. The good news? Today's most compelling display ad formats do the job.
To track the most effective ad formats, we looked at engagement across 300,000 creatives from the MediaMind database. We based our results on dwell, one of the most telling metrics for measuring the effectiveness of branding campaigns. Dwell rate measures the proportion of impressions that were touched by the user's mouse for more than one second. Average dwell duration measures the length of exposure.
This metric was independently evaluated by comScore in research that showed that dwell is linked to higher brand effectiveness and is more relevant than a click count. The research showed that users who were exposed to campaigns with high dwell were three times more likely to search for brand-related keywords and 70 percent more likely to visit the advertiser's site. During the visit, users view more pages and spend more time exploring the brand on the site.
Here are some of the ad formats that generated the highest engagement from users and can create a powerful online branding experience.