Monday, October 29, 2012

Most annoying online ad formats revealed

For many media buyers, the more prominent the ad, the better the ad.

Case in point: earlier this year, GM pulled its paid campaigns on Facebook in a very public way prior to the social network's highly-anticipated IPO.
The back story: Facebook had rebuffed GM's demand for bigger, bolder ads.

While Facebook has become more aggressive in integrating advertising into the world's most popular social network, it had a pragmatic reason for saying no to GM: consumers hate bigger, bolder ads just as much as media buyers love them.

The good news for companies like GM: when it comes to annoying consumers, there are plenty of options.

So which kinds of ads create the most consumer frustration?

To find out, digital ad platform provider Respond conducted a survey of more than 1,000 UK consumers. The results?
  • Video ads that automatically play upon page load were the most annoying format, with nearly three-quarters of respondents indicating that these were irritating.
  • Pop-ups and pop-unders were the second and third most annoying ad formats, with 69% and 56% of those polled, respectively, saying that these were an annoyance.
  • With 52% and 38% of respondents, respectively, calling them irritants, expanding ads and in-content ads that appear when a user hovers over a word rounded out the five worst ad formats from the consumer perspective.
Are you a media buyer (or seller for that matter) not trading in any of these ad formats?
Don't breathe a sigh of relief yet: over a third of survey participants (37%) have a high standard, stating that ads they deem irrelevant are a turn-off.

It doesn't pay to annoy

Not surprisingly, the most annoying ads are likely to grab a user's attention, which is why media buyers are willing to pay a premium for them.

But the cost of putting revenue before usability can be significant for publishers. 62% of those Respond polled said that they were likely to abandon a page with annoying ads, and 55% went so far as to claim that they would be less likely to return to the offending site altogether.


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