StatsAd Industry MetricsBanner Life Spans Coming Up Short

Banner Life Spans Coming Up Short

More than 7,000 new banner ads appear online every week, but their life span compares with that of many insects. Rare is the banner that sees two months, according to AdRelevance.

More than 7,000 new banner ads appear online every week, but the majority only run for an average of three weeks or less, according to AdRelevance.

An AdRelevance Intelligence Report, which analyzed standard 468×60 banner ad campaigns on the top 500 Web sites from July 1999 to June 2000 found that, although most banner ads run for three or fewer weeks, the average banner runs for five and half weeks.

Length of Time Banners Run
Weeks Percent Weeks Percent
1 23.7% 12 1.6%
2 16.0% 13 1.3%
3 11.9% 14 1.1%
4 9.3% 15 0.9%
5 7.8% 16 0.8%
6 5.4% 17 0.7%
7 4.0% 18 0.6%
8 3.3% 19 0.5%
9 2.8% 20 0.5%
10 2.4% >20 3.7%
11 1.8%
Source: AdRelevance

The automotive industry schedules online ads to run the longest, an average of 7.8 weeks, according to AdRelevance. This is almost twice as long as the average banner for a hardware and electronics ad, which typically lasts 4.1 weeks. The consumer goods industry embraces the most targeted ad approaches, with only 40 percent of online impressions appearing on broad reach sites such as portals, search engines, and community destinations. At the other end of the spectrum, Web media, financial services, and travel advertisers appear to be targeting the least, running an overwhelming majority of ad impressions on broad reach sites.

While the average campaign in the second quarter weighed in at 7,265,000 impressions, more than half of all advertisers ran campaigns with less than 44,000 impressions, AdRelevance found. A campaign this small would only garner a 0.0003 percent share of voice on a major portal like Yahoo.

“While most advertisers are running relatively short campaigns, shorter campaigns are not necessarily better campaigns,” said Charlie Buchwalter, VP of Media Research for AdRelevance. “Although shorter campaigns may concentrate banner impressions, thereby increasing the share of voice and share of market for an advertiser, only longer campaigns can bring about a change in consumer attitudes and behavior.”

AdRelevance also found that banner impressions, on average, are heavier in the beginning of four and 12-week campaigns. On the other hand, campaigns running eight weeks tend to feature higher impression levels in the middle. Impressions for the average banner in an eight-week campaign peaked in the fifth week.

“There is no golden rule when it comes to campaign continuity, but it appears that advertisers are adopting two weighting approaches — either front-loading for shorter campaigns or pulsing for longer campaigns,” Buchwalter said.

Average Length of Banner Runs by Industry
Industry Average Number
of Weeks
Automotive 7.8
Financial Services 6.9
Travel 6.0
Consumer Goods 5.6
Web Media 5.5
Software 5.1
Retail 5.0
Entertainment 4.9
B-to-B 4.9
Telecommunications 4.8
Hardware/Electronics 4.1
Source: AdRelevance

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