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Online Advertising Articles
(June 2001)

First Australian Online Advertising Effectiveness Study

Study reveals good online advertising provides effective brand impact

Sydney, 25th June 2001 – ACNielsen.consult has released the first Australian Online Advertising Effectiveness Study as part of a wider investigation of online advertising effectiveness in Asia-Pacific - Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.

In Australia, they tested 24 online advertisements for 14 major brands from the following companies - AMP, ANZ, Bushells, Blackmores, CBA, Cisco, David Jones, Dingo Blue, Dstore, Intel, MLC, Telstra, Toyota and Volvo. The study completed surveys with over 15,000 consumers across 72 websites.

The Australian results released today show, on average, among those exposed to the ads, online advertising caused a 12 percent increase in intent to purchase, a 16 percent increase in unaided brand awareness, a 37 percent increase in ad recall, and statistically significant improvements in three out of nine brand image measures.

"The results are pretty impressive – for an advertising medium that's been beat up over the past six months as an advertising medium that doesn't work," said Ramin Marzbani of ACNielsen.consult. "Of course, when people have complained that online advertising doesn’t work, they have rarely had any research besides click rates to back up their assertions. Now we have some research to demonstrates the branding effectiveness of online advertising."

The ACNielsen.consult analysis gives the first clear picture of branding return-on-investment for online advertising. Comparing a group of web users who were exposed to the advertisement to an identical group of web consumers who were not exposed to the online advertisement, ACNielsen.consult found that for every 1000 banner ad impressions, on average, good online advertising will make:

  • 40 more people clearly remember seeing it and correctly connect the ad with the brand
  • 18 more people will have top of mind awareness of the brand
  • 11 more people will say they "Definitely will" or "Probably will buy" the advertised brand

The report also found that some ads dramatically outperform the average. Advertisements from the recent Bushells online campaign performed 63% better than the average ad tested in capturing user’s attention and communicating the brand message.

  • 65 more people remember seeing it and correctly connect the ad with the Bushells' brand
  • 19 more people will have top of mind awareness of Bushells
  • 15 more people will say the "Definitely will" or "Probably will buy" Bushells

The study also shows that some online advertising does not perform particularly well on the brand effectiveness test with ads from Telstra and Commonwealth Bank among those that failed to perform well.

"The data demonstrates that the much maligned online ad banner is an effective branding tool, but there are certainly some approaches to online advertising that work better than others," said Rex Briggs, who lead the study. "Regardless of stock market performance of Internet companies, consumers are using the Internet more and more each day and marketers had better figure out how they are going to use the Internet marketing channel,” Briggs continued. “Many marketers are short changing Internet advertising, and these results indicate that leaving the Internet out of the marketing mix is a big mistake."

A summary of the Study is available for download at www.acnconsult.com.

The full Australian Study is available from ACNielsen.consult with the New Zealand and Hong Kong Studies due for release in early July.


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