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BizReport : Advertising archives : November 04, 2010

Big ads not intrusive, concludes OPA study

Large ad units that were released by the Online Publishers Association last year have been tried and tested - and the results show that bigger ads aren't always considered intrusive.

by Helen Leggatt

The OPA's ad units - the XXL, Pushdown and Fixed Panel - were put to the test via eye-tracking and biometric monitoring. The tests, administered by Innerscope Research, found 90% of participants noticed these ad formats within 10 seconds of arriving on a website.

Interestingly, the study found that the subjects were as emotionally engaged with the ad content as they were with the website content, if not more. And advertisers will be happy to know that the ads weren't deemed intrusive and were, in fact, liked. Participants gave the ads a score of 6.3 out of 9 for likeability.

"One of the questions people had when we introduced these units was 'Are they going to be intrusive?' And one of the things that's exciting was that they're not intrusive," said Pam Horan, President of the OPA.

"I've been doing this for a long time, and I've never seen a research study where the consumer has admitted to liking the advertising."

Additional findings from the study include:

- 71% of users who fixated on units after the first ten seconds displayed a stronger emotional response to the advertising than to the rest of the website content.

- On average it takes 0.6 seconds to fixate on an OPA ad unit

- On average, participants fixate over 15 times on OPA ad units

- 40% of these fixations occur after the first 10 seconds of being on a website.

Tags: ad units, online advertising

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