The study, based on a survey of 7,500 users of online college newspapers--including undergraduates, graduates, alumni, faculty and parents--found that 52 percent of respondents say they pay attention to contextual text links, while just 8 percent say the same for game-based ads and only 5 percent report paying attention to pop-ups. Banner ads fared worse than text links but better than pop-ups, with non-animated banners outperforming animated ads and ads with video.
Respondents also reported that they would like their college newspapers to carry more online local ads, especially for restaurants and jobs. Sixty-four percent of survey participants said they would like more ads for local food establishments, while 57 percent wanted more job ads, 51 percent wanted more entertainment ads, and 50 percent wanted to see more ads from local stores.
The study additionally found that undergraduates are turning to the Web for national news. Almost half of the surveyed students--49 percent--visit CNN.com at least once a month, while 37 percent visit MSNBC.com at least once a month and 35 percent go to NYTimes.com at least that often.