Internet Article-Based Ads Grab More Clicks

According to a new national study by Opinion Research Corporation, sponsored by Adfusion, American consumers say articles that include brand information is the type of online advertising they're most likely to read and act upon, compared to banner ads, pop-up ads, email offers or sponsored links, according to a new survey.

Favorable Response to Advertising

Type of Advertisement

% Saying Very or Somewhat Likely to Respond

Articles that include brand information


Email offers


Sponsored search engine links


Banner ads


Pop-up ads


Source: Adfusion, March 2009

According to the survey, 67% of people between the ages of 18 and 24, and 56% of those making at least $75,000 per year say they are "very likely" or "somewhat likely" to read and act upon article-based advertising. Pop-up ads were least likely to be read or acted upon.

When asked how frequently they conduct Internet searches for products or services they read about in online articles, half the respondents said "very frequently" or "somewhat frequently." 69% of 18-to-24-year-olds said they were likely to conduct a search for products or services based on an article, and 57% of those making more than $75,000 per year expressed their likelihood to perform a search, says the report.

Additional data included in the survey:

  • 87% of survey respondents said they were not very likely or not at all likely to read and act upon pop-up ads
  • 56% of households containing three or more people said they are very likely or somewhat likely to read and act upon articles that include brand information.
  • 62% of households with 13 to 17 year-old children said they are very likely or somewhat likely to read and act upon articles that include brand information
  • 52% of college graduates said they conduct Internet searches for products or services they read about in online articles either very frequently or somewhat frequently

Scott Severson, ARAnet president, concludes that. "A key finding for marketers is that... more than two-thirds of the respondents between 18 and 34 said they conduct Internet searches for products or services they read about in online articles... compared to banner ads or other options, people respond better when they can read an article, evaluate it, and then decide to click through... "

(The survey presents the findings of a sample of 1,074 adults comprising 520 men and 554 women 18 years of age and older, completed on March 9-10, 2009)

For more information, and to access the PDF file from ARAnet, please visit here.

5 comments about "Internet Article-Based Ads Grab More Clicks".
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  1. Mike Azzara from Content Marketing Partners, March 26, 2009 at 12:07 p.m.

    How do you define "article-based advertising" ? And how does the research differentiate for the respondents between article-based advertising and "real" articles - i.e.., articles written without advertising objectives or subsidies?

  2. Martin Edic from WTSsocial, March 26, 2009 at 12:16 p.m.

    I can't see how a survey that does not include pay per click ads has any legitimacy- iPPC is the largest and most successful ad format online, yet it does not appear to be included.
    This sounds like research that was 'directed' to get the results they did- who paid for it? Article marketing has had a somewhat shady (spammy) reputation so I think I'm justified in asking these questions.

  3. Tom Watson from Moore Industrial, March 26, 2009 at 12:25 p.m.

    Not a surprising result. People are apparently transferring past behaviors with print into digital media. Pop-ups, banners, and other similar digital display media are seen more clearly as ads, and given less immediate credibility, but they do serve a valuable brand impression. Articles, or anything delivered in a text basis, including search results and sponsored links appear more credible, garnering better response. Email credibility probably excludes spam, and the remaining email are generally from companies they are already interested in. It all comes down to the value of content marketing. Delivery is changing, and sources of information are changing, modes of communication and interaction are exploding. But people are the same. We simply have to understand how people's behaviors have been transferred to the digital world.

  4. Dana Todd from SRVR LLC, March 26, 2009 at 4:42 p.m.

    I gotta love this article, cuz it totally aligns with our Newsforce research too. Whether you want to call it "storytelling media" as we do, or advertorial, or article-based ads, it's essentially the same learning: people in reading mode will keep reading and consuming information that is interesting and relevant to them, even if it's 100% sponsored. The tricky part is to make the engagement meaningful for them, in terms of supporting your branding and communication strategy.

    Our research can be found here:

  5. Dana Todd from SRVR LLC, April 11, 2009 at 3:42 p.m.

    @Martin Edic - they did mention search ads (PPC) - got a 39% favorable rate. This would be assumed to include contextual placement of search ads (text link ads from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, etc.)

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