Online ADD: Decrease in ad success?

by Kate Olson | Digital Strategist on May 2, 2011

in L&S, Message Delivery, Online Marketing

Online attention span

It seems nearly impossible to visit a website without being served an advertisement of some sort.  These online ads go by just about every name in the book: pop-ups, scrolling, flashing, floating, expanding – you name it!  Naturally, advertisers are taking every chance they can to utilize this affordable advertising space on the web.

With online video advertising increasing in popularity, I’ve been thinking about how sensory-overload on the web is affecting online advertising. According to a study, while consumers’ interest in online video ads is increasing, their attention spans are decreasing. In 2010, 45.8% of video ads were viewed through at least 50% of the content. That’s down 11% from 2009.  In the past, fewer video advertisements were clicked on, but on the ads that were clicked, viewers watched for a longer period of time.

Today, research shows more video ads are clicked but rarely watched in their entirety. This phenomenon may be due to an increase in online video advertising. Viewers may be increasingly desensitized to the delivery vehicle of video banners that were once considered unique.

Does this study indicate advertisers should completely shift their campaign budgets from online video banners to other mediums? No!  However, advertisers should be mindful that the majority of viewers are not engaging with these banners for long periods of time and certainly not watching the videos for their duration. Just as online banners are scrolling, flashing and floating – so are viewers.


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