See It, Touch It, Engage It

New Benchmark research by MediaMind reveals that users are 2.5 times more likely to engage with ads that performed in the top 25%, with a Dwell Rate of 16%, as compared to ads in the Benchmark average.  The bottom 25% of ads achieves a Dwell Rate of only 1%.

In its research, analyzing the performance of over 300,000 rich media ads with over one hundred billion impressions worldwide, the study identified seven best practices that can help advertisers create smarter ads in order to boost campaign performance.  These best practices include adding video to the banner, specifically auto-initiated video, matching the ad with the site’s content, and using synched ads.

To measure the effectiveness of branding, the study uses Dwell Rate and Average Dwell Duration.

  • Dwell measures the proportion of impressions that had a meaningful mouse-touch, lasting more than one second.
  • Dwell Rate measures the proportion of Rich Media impressions that were intentionally engaged with by touch, interaction or click.
  • Average Dwell Duration measures the duration of a Dwell in seconds for users who engaged.

Results of a joint study, by MediaMind, Microsoft Advertising and comScore, indicate that users who were exposed to campaigns with high Dwell are three times more likely to search for brand related keywords as compared to users who were exposed to campaigns with low Dwell. And, campaigns with high Dwell boosted advertisers’ site traffic by 69% and improved brand engagement, increasing page views and time spent on the brand’s site. 

To answer advertisers questions ask regarding how to increase the performance of online branding campaigns, the study analyzed nearly 300,000 creatives and over one hundred billion impressions to see what works best. The report includes a few rules of thumb that advertisers can follow to create smarter ads and boost engagement.

1. Use Video

Video has two effects on users:

  • It attracts users’ attention towards dynamic ads and away from the mostly textual content on the publishers’ site.
  • It allows users to stay with the ad for longer and increases user retention.

Dwell Performance for Video Creatives


Dwell Rate

Average Duration (seconds)

Rich media without video



Rich media with video



Source: MediaMind Research, 2011 Global

2. Initiate video automatically

  • When using video in an online campaign, it is better that the video auto initiates, rather than waiting for the user to start the video.

Performance for Auto/User Initiated Video


Dwell Rate

 Average Dwell Duration (Sec)

Click Through Rate

Expandable Banner





User Initiated




Polite Banner

Auto Initiated




User Initiated




Source: MediaMind Research, 2011 Global

3 Match the ad with the site content

  • Ads next to relevant content perform better than ads on non-premium or social networks.

4 Use richer, more visible ad formats

  • Commercial Breaks have high breakthrough, while expandables keep users engaged for longer.

5. Use Synched Ads

  • Boost visibility without being intrusive by taking two different placements and create one unified experience. One of the advantages of Synched Ads is that the two banners can speak to one another and thus use larger parts of the site as a canvas to deliver the message.
  • Analysis of thousands of Synched ads shows that the more visible creative increases Dwell Rate and CTR for each one of the creatives. Thus, Dwell Rate and CTR for Synched Ads are higher than just placing two regular ads on the same page.

Dwell for Synched Ads


Dwell Rate

Dwell Duration

Click Through Rate

Regular ads




Synched ads




Source: MediaMind Research, 2011 Global

6. Take Advantage of Dynamic Creative Optimization

  • Dynamic Creative optimization is a learning algorithm that receives constant feedback from actions that users take while interacting with the campaign, changing the creative depending on the users’ feedback. Advertisers upload all of their creative ideas and let the algorithm the most effective version in real time.

Dwell for Creative Optimization


Dwell Rate

Dwell Duration (seconds)

Automatic optimization



Other Opt



Source: MediaMind Research, 2011 Global

7 Integrate exchanges into the media buy:

  • Reduces cost and increases conversions by targeting audience buys through the exchange based buy.

Gal Trifon, General Manager of MediaMind and Chief Digital Officer of DG.MediaMind, concludes by saying that “... beyond providing our clients with the latest numbers to benchmark campaign performance... by leveraging best practices and... advanced technology... advertiser(s) can implement techniques to drive better performance and engagement...”

For additional information and a PDF file of the study with more detailed charts from MediaMind, please visit here.

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