Old Media Companies Try to Sabotage New Media Efforts
Among Web users, nearly two-thirds (63%) of banner ads were not seen. Respondents' eyes "passed over" 37% of the Internet ads and "stopped" on slightly less than a third, McPheters & Co. found.
In contrast to online ads, TV and magazine ads generated a strong propensity to be seen and recalled. Full-page, four-color magazine ads were determined to have 83% of the value of a 30-second television commercial, while a typical Internet banner ad has 16% of the value.
Here are the major findings from the press release issued by the market research firm that undertook the study:
- Within a half hour, magazines effectively delivered more than twice the number of ad impressions as TV and more than 6 times those delivered online.
- Though TV doesn't deliver as many ads per half hour as do magazines, net recall of TV ads was almost twice that of magazine ads; magazines in turn had ad recall almost three times that of Internet banner ads.
- 85% of Internet ads served appeared on-screen and could be identified by brand.
- Among web users, 63% of banner ads were not seen. Respondents' eyes passed over 37% of the Internet ads and stopped on slightly less than a third.
- For Internet ads, almost all net recall could be attributed to ads that were seen.
- Internet video ads appeared much less frequently than banner ads, and their exposure skewed heavily towards young men. When they did appear they were twice as likely to be seen as banner ads.
- The report does mention online vehicles other than banner ads, but only mentions video ads as appearing less frequently than banner ads and skewing heavily toward young men. But that is one of the most desired demographics for marketers. And, apparently, it didn't seem to measure text ads, which are surely the most prevelant form of online marketing today.
- Recalling an ad is not necessarily the same as ad effectiveness. Consider the famous example of the hilarious Alka Seltzer ad series from the sixties. They had huge recall, but the company dropped them because no one remembered the product, just the humor. Also, if you find an ad irritating, is there any transference of that feeling toward the manufacturer?
- Although it may be in the study, I don't see any mention of the intent of the ad. Was it meant to sell product? Recall doesn't show whether people buy, or even if they become more inclined to favor the mentioned brand.
- Where is the audience spending its time? Even if magazine and television ads are more effective in a more extensive way than recall, is that the medium that consumers prefer to consume? If they read news and watch video online, then placing ads in print and on television starts reaching a smaller audience.
- That last point has another implication: cost. Print and television ads cost more to run than online ads. So how much does it cost to acquire and maintain a customer? That must be part of the equation, particularly when budgets are constrained. Even if one type of ad is five times more effective, what if it costs a hundred or thousand times as much?
But publishers and broadcasters all claim to be interested in online as a medium. (Disclosure: I cover high tech for BNET, which is owned by CBS Interactive.) But this clearly delivers the impression that the sponsors are interested in having older media -- which deliver more ad revenue and profit -- shown to be superior to online. In other words, it's the old dog at the media companies trying to kill off the upstart medium, with the Internet still a business toddler compared to print and broadcast. How are the media companies ever going to make the transition they say is coming if they do everything in their power to defeat it?
This is why tech companies like Google and Amazon, which are big in online advertising and media, are likely to be the real winners in the media wars. They aren't spending significant resources and time trying to debunk the very businesses they say they are anxious to establish. And the financial results the market has been seeing is nothing more than the public results of the internal uncivil wars taking place in these companies.