Publisher Study Finds Some IAB Video Units Excel

The four top-performing IAB standard video ad units have generated click-through rates above 10 percent, according to a study conducted by Break Media and its advertising partner Panache.

Campaigns for Honda, T-Mobile, and truTV participated in the study with run-of-site ads on over an 11-week period, ending August 2. Among the findings: 15-second pre-roll ads were viewed to completion by 87 percent of viewers, and click-through rates (CTRs) for interactive pre-roll ads — containing a text call-to-action — outperformed those of non-interactive pre-roll by as much as 35 percent.

Break and Panache said click-through rates for non-interactive pre-roll ads were just under 10 percent, suggesting CTRs for interactive pre-roll ads were in the range of 11 to 13 percent.

The study can not be considered a comprehensive assessment of all the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s recommended video formats. Of the 12 ad units covered by the group’s video ad format guidelines, released in May, Break Media and Panache chose to report on only the four best-performing units. In addition to the pre-roll ads, they looked at two types of graphical in-frame ads: overlay and non-overlay “invitation” ads. The former don’t obscure a video’s content; the latter do.

The benefits of those formats was less clear. For non-overlay, in-frame graphical ads, the average CTR was a mere 0.08 percent. Overlay ads, where the creative obscures a video, recorded a much higher .65 percent CTR.

“When people go to watch video, they really have to focus on a certain part of the screen, and by having these ads in the area, you know where people are looking,” said Steve Robinson, president of Panache.

The researchers noted that in cases where bright colors were used, the CTR improved from 0.045 percent to 0.13 percent. “Creative, vibrant colors, more catchy ads, it’s not surprising you have a higher click-through rate,” said Keith Richman, CEO of Break Media.

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