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DoubleClick’s Research Demonstrates
the Benefits of Online Video Advertising

DoubleClick Inc., a well known provider of digital marketing technology and services, announced the results of its recent research of online video ad placements, illustrating that video is a highly effective format for online advertising.

Findings show that audiences have high interaction rates with video ads, users click the “Play” button more than they click on image ads, video ads are typically played two-thirds of the way through and video ad click rates are far higher than those of image format ads.

DoubleClick conducted its analysis of more than 300 online video ad campaigns that were placed by more than 130 advertisers over a four-month period in 2006. The objective was to identify major trends in the performance metrics of online video ad campaigns according to campaign features, such as vertical industry sector, ad format, ad size and ad length.

“Online video ads are quickly becoming the medium of choice to drive both brand awareness and sales,” said Rick Bruner, research director at DoubleClick. “The results show that there are clear ROI advantages to placing video ads. We expect to see strong growth in the number of companies reaping the benefits of online video advertising in the coming months and years.”

Key Findings

A healthy portion of exposed audiences interact with video ads
The interaction rate is the “all in” metric, including the sum total of all interactions that people have with the video ad units. Those include mouseovers, expansions, interactions with the video control buttons, clicks and other events. This is then divided by the total impressions served. The overall average interaction rate for ads studied in this analysis is 8 percent.

Users click the “Play” button more than they click on image ads
All DoubleClick video ads include a panel of control buttons to play, pause and stop the video. The rates for those actions are calculated as a percentage of total impressions served. The video control consumers are most likely to click is the “Play” button. At 0.32 percent, consumers are roughly twice as likely to play (or replay if a video starts automatically) an online video ad unit, as they are to click through on a standard JPG or GIF ad (the standard CTR for image ads is between 0.1 and 0.2 percent). The cumulative control panel interaction rate is 1.13 percent (this is the sum of all control panel interactions as a percent of impressions served).

The majority of the video ad units observed in this analysis were embedded in Web pages, as opposed to being within streaming video content. For those in-page units, the most common length of play was 30 seconds; the next most common length was 15 seconds. There is little difference in the length of play between ads that expand to a larger display window and standard video ads that do not expand. In both cases, on average, video ads play approximately two-thirds of the way through, or 19.1 seconds for a 30-second ad and 10.3 seconds for a 15-second ad.

Video click rates are far higher than image format ads

Because of their ability to convey a story through sounds and motion, most advertisers think of online video ads as a format for driving brand awareness. When judged on the basic direct-response metric for online advertising – the click-through rate – online video ads perform extremely well. Online video ads experience click-through rates ranging from 0.4 percent to 0.74 percent depending on the online video format. By comparison, the click-through rate for plain GIF or JPG image ads ranges between 0.1 and 0.2 percent, based on DoubleClick data.

This analysis was based on aggregated and cleansed data from video placements of 301 ad campaigns by 131 advertisers, representing 2.7 billion video ad impressions. Those campaigns ran between June and September 2006. Almost all video units in this analysis were auto-play ads. Almost all of those ads played with the sound off until users interacted to trigger sound.

“We know from our related consumer survey research, Touchpoints IV, that online video is one of the most popular new activities with consumers online. What’s particularly exciting about these types of campaign performance benchmarks is that they provide marketers with an important leap forward in measuring audience engagement and results that simply does not exist in traditional TV advertising. The best standard data you get on audience measurement of TV commercials is limited to reach and frequency or specialized brand studies. However, online video metrics available today, like interaction rate, play rate, video completion rate and so on, give advertisers much greater insight into how consumers are actually engaging with the ads and their brands,” said Marianne Caponnetto, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for DoubleClick.

DoubleClick has global headquarters in New York City and maintains 17 offices around the world to serve its more than 1500 clients.

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