The study demonstrated that sponsored text advertising in the search environment works for an array of branding objectives. Sponsored text ads, much like the standard image based ad, had their biggest impact on "unaided brand awareness," especially where a brand held the top position on search results pages.
Marc Ryan, Senior Director, Analysis, Nielsen//NetRatings, said "Brand advertisers, who are not yet placing search advertising, may be missing out on a share of voice opportunity for keywords relevant to their categories.This research suggests that the optimal media mix includes search and display ads, a combination which allows advertisers to take advantage of the push/pull dynamics of the web while still delivering on core branding metrics."
On average, when respondents were asked to name a specific leading brand within a tested industry, they were 27 percent more likely to name the brand displayed in the top spot compared to a control group not exposed to the ad. For the articles pages containing contextually targeted text advertising, the text ad caused a 23 percent lift among respondents that saw the ads.
The research findings reported that there is a significant difference on core brand metrics movement depending on the placement of the text ad. Ads appearing in the top position on a search engine increased an aggregate of all the brand metrics by an average of 14 percent across the six industries, in stark comparison to results from ads in the fifth position, which only showed a minor directional lift on brand measures. Search articles pages generated an aggregate lift of all brand metrics by 15 percent.
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