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Online Advertising Effectiveness Gets Significant Boost From Branded Content

June 30, 2008 | By Research Team—DCN

Online Publishers Association Analysis of Independent Data Shows that Branded Content Sites Consistently Provide Greater Impact than Industry Norms, Portals and Ad Networks

New York, NY — July 30, 2008 — Across a wide range of advertising metrics, branded content sites outscored Internet industry norms for the Internet 41 out of 43 times according to a new research report released today by the Online Publishers Association (OPA). Additionally, “beyond-the-banner” forms of online advertising such as video, sponsorships and rich media also outpaced industry norms when placed on branded content sites.
The OPA report, “Improving Ad Performance Online: The Impact of Advertising on Branded Content Sites,” leverages Dynamic Logic’s MarketNorms ®database, an industry standard for measuring online advertising’s effectiveness and branding impact. The OPA study provides an extensive analysis of ad effectiveness scores for branded content sites, as represented by OPA members, compared with those for overall MarketNorms, portals and ad networks.

“It’s an absolute fact with online advertising: environment matters,” said OPA president Pam Horan. “In nearly every category measured, ad effectiveness scores on branded content sites were numerically higher than on the Web in general, on portals or on ad networks. Whether it’s the trust they engender or the audiences they attract, branded content sites deliver better advertising results.”

Branded content sites are particularly effective at improving two of the most difficult metrics to impact: brand favorability and purchase intent. When it comes to brand favorability, branded content sites provide a 29% improvement over average online advertising performance in MarketNorms. For purchase intent, branded content sites provide a 20% improvement. With both measures, there is an even greater bounce among affluent audiences. Branded content sites are 24% more effective than overall MarketNorms at impacting purchase intent among those with household incomes of $75,000 or greater.

“Nearly all forms of online media have an important role to play throughout the purchase ‘funnel,’” Horan continued. “But branded content sites have a notably greater impact at the points where consumers are establishing brand preference and making purchase decisions. Simply delivering better results is good, but being able to break-through at those critical moments when consumers are making their decisions is a tremendous advantage.”

When it comes to beyond-the-banner advertising such as video or sponsorships, branded content sites also provide advertising advantages. The OPA analysis shows that video advertising on these sites provides an 82% brand awareness boost over MarketNorms’ overall online video advertising averages and a 67% boost for improving brand favorability. Rich media ads on branded content sites provide a 28% brand awareness improvement over MarketNorms.

“Branded content sites are doing a particularly effective job of delivering results with developing advertising formats, including video advertising and rich media,” Horan continued. “Just as we have seen with offline media, the value of context cannot be underestimated – a point that is clearly reaffirmed in this study. A sponsorship on a ‘name’ site delivers the power of that media brand to the advertiser associated with that content.”

To download the report, please click here.

Among the key additional points in the research:

  • Sponsorships on branded content sites are 42% more effective than the overall MarketNorms average and 36% more effective than on portals.
  • 18-34 year olds are more responsive to ads on branded content sites: they are 33% more likely to form favorable opinions about advertised brands than when viewing ads on portals.
  • The overall findings are consistent across advertising categories. For example, consumer packaged goods advertising on branded content sites gets a 26% lift in purchase intent over MarketNorms.

MarketNorms data benchmarks online ad campaigns from 3,900+ AdIndex surveys among more than 6 million people, evaluating over 163,000 creatives across more than a dozen industries and hundreds of sites.

Dynamic Logic’s MarketNorms ® is a marketing effectiveness database. The results cited have not been adjusted for exposure frequency, demographics, ad size, websites, advertiser industry and other factors that may contribute to brand lift. These findings are aggregate in nature, reflect past results and are not a guarantee of future results for individual campaigns. The data in this report listed under overall MarketNorms refers to the average performance of all online campaigns measured by Dynamic Logic in the last 3 years, including those on branded content sites, portals and ad networks.

The data in this release has been tested for statistical significance at a 90% confidence level and is sourced accordingly.

About the OPA

Founded in June 2001, the Online Publishers Association is an industry trade organization whose mission is to advance the interests of high-quality online publishers before the advertising community, the press, the government and the public. Members of OPA represent the standards in Internet publishing with respect to editorial quality and integrity, credibility and accountability. OPA member sites have a combined, unduplicated reach of 131.7 million visitors, or 73% percent of the total U.S. Internet audience (Source: comScore Media Metrix, July 2007 combined home/work/university data). For more information, go to www.online-publishers.org.