Bigger Isn't Necessarily Better When It Comes To Online Ad Formats

In most media, advertisers pay more for the biggest, and theoretically most noticeable advertising formats, because they believe they work better. But when it comes to online advertising, smaller, and ostensibly less expensive, may actually work better. That is the conclusion of new research unveiled this morning by advertising effectiveness researcher Dynamic Logic.

The study, which was based on 2,390 online display campaigns running over the past three years, found that so-called "half banners" (those measuring 234 x 60) and rectangles (180 x 150) were more effective than ads that frame the page such as high profile leaderboards and skyscrapers.

The Dynamic Logic researchers said the reason is that the smaller format display ads are far more integrated into the content of Web pages, and consequently are more effective at "driving online ad awareness and purchase intent."

Ken Mallon, senior vice president-custom solutions at Dynamic Logic added the caveat that the relative creative quality of each ad is the single most important factor, but that all things being equal, format size can be a significant determinant in campaign effectiveness.



"We continue to believe that creative quality is the most important factor driving the success of online advertising," he stated, adding. "However, it will be interesting to see how the new, larger ad formats that publishers are beginning to debut will rank next to the more traditional online ad formats. Based on the current data, bigger doesn't always mean better, but these new ad formats are quite unique and we look forward to testing them."

Not surprisingly, the researcher also found campaigns using rich media with video created the strongest brand impact compared with campaigns using simple flash and rich media without video formats. The worst performer was simple flash, the format used most often by agencies and advertisers.

4 comments about "Bigger Isn't Necessarily Better When It Comes To Online Ad Formats".
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  1. David Smith, August 20, 2009 at 2 p.m.

    Good one Joe. Bigger is not better? Maybe everything we know is wrong. Good also to see the trove of data from Dynamic Logic put to some good industry use.

  2. John Dietz, August 20, 2009 at 4:38 p.m.

    I wonder how much of this effect is due to novelty with slightly unusual ad formats. Was there any data for the 300x250 rectangles that seem to be gaining traction?

  3. Scott Maxworthy from Max Media & Entertainment, August 20, 2009 at 9:15 p.m.

    IMHO - Internet advertising and rich media doesn't have to be inside the box - get creative and engage.

  4. Sarah H. from Wellons Communictions, August 21, 2009 at 10:06 a.m.

    According to the study in this article, rich media with video helps create the strongest brand impact. And while ads are a definite way to rake in the money, it also helps to think outside of the box...let's say with a fake Hollywood producer obsessed with zombies? That's what Endavo is doing to help get the word out about its Internet TV platform...and how online video content producers can best monetize their video. Check it out at the Endavo blog:

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