Type-in ads, also known as CAPTCHAs, can improve brand recall by 67%, according to a study that Solve Media plans to release Thursday. The company's Type-In ad, an updated version of a CAPTCHA security code, replaces that distorted sequence of letters or digits that site visitors sometimes need to type in before downloading content or making a purchase.
The report analyzes 43 campaigns running between August 2010 and August 2011. The questions, which are grouped into five standard brand measures -- Awareness, Association, Recall, Favorability, and Intent -- were also analyzed by several verticals. All saw double-digit lift measurements.
Across the board, all brands participating in the study gained 52% lift in Awareness from consumers typing words into captcha campaigns. The uptick makes sense -- actively participating and engaging with brands in campaigns should heighten awareness, along with recall -- but the study didn't analyze long-term influence.
On average, campaigns generated 65% for Association, 67% for ad Recall, 38% for Favorability, and 24% for Intent.
In July, Solve Media served 18 million type-ins across 2,000 publishers, according to Ari Jacoby of Solve Media.
The brands were grouped in different tiers: Tier 1, Fortune 500 companies already advertising in other channels; and Tier 2, new products associated with brands that a typical person may have not heard about. When comparing the two groups through Awareness, the Tier 1 group had higher lift than the Tier 2.
Spearheading the research, Young-Bean Song, principal and founder of AnalyticsDNA and former Microsoft Atlas Institute director, found the increase in awareness for the Tier 2 brands counterintuitive. Tier 2 companies typically experience higher lift because they start from a lower base. Fewer people know about Tier 2 brands.
Most people know about Starbucks and Nike. "Brand advertisers have struggled to find sweet spots on the Web, because of all the search ads and excitement over direct response," he said. "This could give them an opportunity to gain awareness -- something they might not get from other digital marketing efforts."
It turns out that type-in ads influence upper-funnel metrics, according to Song. "For brands seeking and targeting movement, the upper part of the funnel seems to get the most out of this advertising for recall and association," he said.
The type-in ads also produced significant results by industry vertical, with consumer product goods (CPGs) companies clearly outperforming. CPG companies gained 146% lift in brand awareness; followed by Entertainment and Media, 73%; Auto, 54%; Finance, 50%; Technology, 44%; Recall, 35%, and Travel, 22%.