Now, in an attempt to answer that question, rich media advertising company Viewpoint and market research company Dynamic Logic will conduct an experiment involving 10 marketers who will advertise across 15 to 20 Web sites. For the study, Dynamic Logic will examine behavior and attitudes of online viewers exposed to the three types of ads: in-page, pre-roll (in which the ad precedes video content), and transitional (ads shown to consumers who are navigating from one page to another).
Most ads will be re-purposed television spots and will last 30 seconds, said Allie Savarino, vice president of the New York-based Viewpoint, which completed its merger with Unicast on Jan. 3. Participating marketers include Hyundai, Microsoft Office, Newsweek, Pepsi, and 20th Century Fox; publishers include AOL and ESPN. The project begins on February 28, 2005 and ends in April.
The study will look at effectiveness measures, such as whether respondents clicked on the ads. Respondents will also be surveyed about whether the ad affected their awareness of the brand or their intent to make a purchase.
In addition to analyzing the impacts of different online ad formats, the study will attempt to compare brand awareness and purchase intent between viewers exposed to online ads with those exposed to television ads. But the methodology for such comparisons is still evolving. Savarino said that for this study, the researchers will compare viewers who saw an online ad with focus group members who saw television ads, and will ask survey respondents whether they saw an ad on television before seeing it online. If the answer is yes, they will ask the respondents to compare their reaction to the television ad with their reaction to the online ad.