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Uncovering Consumers' Real Online Ad Preferences

Posted on 10.05.2008

iPerceptions announced the results of a study that reveals insights into which types of online ads are popular with consumers. The analytics company collected user-generated feedback from 14,000+ visitors on consumer advertising preferences and their likelihood to click different types of ads appearing on leading media sites during the month of August 2008. The study found that (and budget-strapped marketers, this is where you will want to pay attention) consumers are most likely to click on simple text ads (25% of respondents). Display ads follow in popularity, with 20% of respondents likely to click on right banners and 12% likely to click on top banners.

Most noteworthy in my opinion however is that despite the overwhelming buzz, video ads are not very popular among most consumers; in fact, only 11% of consumers said they were likely to click on video ads. And 25 to 34 year-olds show no special affinity for video, being just as likely to click on video ads as text, right and top banners. The only consumers who seem to be engaged by video ads are young people under the age of 25, a group that accounts for nearly one-third of the video-ad viewing audience.

"Retail groups are predicting the toughest holiday season since 1991, so marketers need to make sure every dollar spent on advertising delivers an end result," said Jonathan Levitt, vice president of marketing at iPerceptions. "Our research shows that inexpensive banner and text ads are still preferred among web consumers. By having a direct dialog with consumers, we are able to know - with certainty - what consumers want and expect from their online experience."

The iPerceptions study also unearthed some important data about how income level and frequency of visits impact consumer ad preferences. As advertisers plan key media buys to boost sales during the upcoming holiday season, they would do well to plan marketing messages and targeting tactics around the study's finding that the likelihood that a person will click on an ad goes down as their income rises. On average, 40% of consumers likely to click on any ad make less than $50K a year - and only 15% make over $150K. The income gap is most pronounced with video ads, with 49% of consumers likely to click on video ads making less than $50K a year - and only 13% making over $150K. Web marketers and publishers should also note that clicks come from loyal audiences. Across the board, 65% of consumers likely to click on online ads are weekly or daily browsers, and only 15% are first-time visitors and 6% are sporadic visitors.

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