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    Internet Ads Are Less Effective Than Magazine And TV Ads

    By Margarita Nahapetyan

    McPheters & Company, in collaboration with Condé Nast and CBS Vision, conducted an advertising study according to which magazine and TV ads are much more effective than Internet ads.

    The study utilized McPheters & Company's proprietary methods, so-called AdWorks methodology, in order to provide comparable measures of advertisement effectiveness throughout multiple media. In addition, sophisticated eye-tracking software was used to determine whether or not Internet ads were actually seen by respondents who took part in the research. The study used 30-second TV ads, full page 4-color magazine ads, and Internet banner in its standard dimensions. The work was carried out in CBS Vision's Television City research facilities at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

    Matched groups of the participants have been invited to spend half an hour with a single medium in a laboratory setting. Some of the volunteers were offered to watch a sit-com of their choice, some - to read a magazine they selected, and others were given the opportunity to surf the Web. At the end of the 30-minute period, all the participants were asked to fill out similar online surveys and report if they recalled seeing 4 advertisements that appeared in the medium they have chosen. In order to evaluate and determine the level of over-claiming, which is known to vary by medium, the participants were also asked whether they recalled seeing 4 ads that had not appeared. All the responds were afterwards used to establish net recall or ad absorption for each medium.

    The results revealed that:

    • Within half an hour, magazines effectively delivered more than twice the number of ad impressions, compared to Television ads and more than 6 times, compared to those offered by means of Internet;

    • Though Television does not deliver as many ads per half hour as do magazines, participants' net recall of TV ads was almost twice that of magazine ads; magazines, in their turn, had ad recall almost 3 times more, compared to Internet banner ads;

    • 85 per cent of Internet ads that have been delivered during the test, appeared on-screen and could be identified by brand;

    • Among Web users, 63 per cent (nearly two-thirds) of banner ads could not be seen. The participants passed their eyes over 37 per cent of the Internet ads and "stopped" on slightly less than a third;

    • For Internet ads, almost all net recall could be associated with advertisements that could be seen;

    • Internet video ads appeared much less frequently in comparison with banner ads, and their exposure skewed heavily towards young men. When they did appear, they were twice as likely to be seen, compared to banner ads.

    When the results were combined with other information on probability of exposure, it turned out that a full-page four-color magazine ads were determined to have 83 per cent of the value of a 30-second TV commercial, while a typical Internet banner ad had 16 per cent of the value.

    "Our findings indicate that we need to learn more about how to engage Internet users with advertising content," said Rebecca McPheters, CEO of McPheters & Company. McPheters said that the experts plan to expand their research in order to analyze more closely the other forms of Internet advertising, and other media, such as cable, newspapers and radio, as well as specific types of programming or content.

    McPheters & Co. specializes in strategic planning and investigation for brands and for companies in the fields related to media, including media owners, advertisers, and advertising agencies. The company develops business strategies in order to enhance both long and short-term profitability. Most of the company's work is focused on enhancing and documenting the advertising value produced by media brands.

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