The study, "The Brand Value of Rich Media and Video Ads," measures purchase intent, but not necessarily through the ad. Findings suggest that people who see a video in a rich media ad are more likely to make the purchase. Google commissioned the study because of the lack of information on how creative ad formats correspond and produce results for brands.
The DoubleClick study tapped Dynamic Logic data -- market data from thousands of campaigns -- to determine the type of creative ad formats that produce the best results. Dynamic Logic serves up surveys to a consumer after they see a random ad, and correlates the results to whether or not they viewed the advertisement.
Rich media ads containing video on average appear to increase purchase intent by 1.16%, compared with a controlled group that did not see an ad. Compare that with simple Flash at 0.26%, and there's a huge difference, says Ari Paparo, group product manager at Google. Although Google does not create the ad for clients, it does help with video encoding and help to track the information in the ads. "We do the technical work, not the creative," he says.
Paparo points out that the study suggests that driving purchase requires advertisers to run more rich media with video and fewer simple Flash units. The fact that simple Flash ads dominate the Web ad content demonstrates "a misalignment" of ad formats when it comes to brands setting and reaching ad goals. Rich media with video drives success more than four times that of Flash.
Interestingly, people who see rich media ads on average seem to favor the brand with the video, according to the study. Exposing audiences to one rich media ad with video seem to result in a 2.30% increase in favoring a brand. In contrast, simple Flash shows the poorest results -- 0.15% -- at driving favor for the brand.
The study suggests delivering a rich media ad with video as the first ad exposure to the online audience, and when budgets are tight, switching to simple Flash or JPG/GIF formats to get positive results. Use DoubleClick DART for Advertisers to swap creative ads without having to send new ad tags to publishers. And don't let arbitrary ad-serving budget allocations, such as 15% of media, prevent you from running the most effective ad formats. Instead, factor media fees and rich media fees in together and optimize from there.
Brand metrics were compared for more than 4,000 campaigns across a wide variety of industry verticals through 2008, as tracked via Dynamic Logic's MarketNorms marketing effectiveness database. Campaigns were included in the study if they met two criteria. The first: the assets included at least one of four ad formats: simple Flash, JPG/GIF, rich media with video, and rich media without video. The second: the questionnaire used standard MarketNorms branding questions.