McPheters & Co. has released results of a study conducted in co-operation with Conde Nast and CBS Vision which explored the relative effectiveness of ads on television, in magazines, and on the Internet.

The study used McPheters & Company’s AdWorks methodology to provide comparable measures of ad effectiveness across multiple media, using 30-second TV ads, full-page four-color magazine ads, and Internet banner ads in standard sizes. Additionally, eye-tracking software was used to determine whether and under what circumstances Internet ads were actually seen by respondents. The work was conducted in CBS Vision’s Television City facilities at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Matched groups of respondents were recruited to spend 30 minutes with a single medium in a laboratory setting. They either watched a choice of sit-coms, read a magazine they selected, or surfed the Internet at will. At the end of the period, they filled out similar online surveys that asked whether they recalled seeing four ads that appeared in the medium they consumed; in order to establish the level of over-claiming, which is known to vary by medium, they were also asked whether they recalled seeing four ads that had not appeared. These results were then used to calculate net recall or ad absorption for each medium.

Among the major findings were:

• Within a half hour, magazines effectively delivered more than twice the number of ad impressions as TV and more than six times those delivered online.

• Though TV doesn’t deliver as many ads per half hour as magazines do, 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 percent of Internet ads served appeared on-screen and could be identified by brand.

• Among Web users, 63 percent of banner ads were not seen. Respondents’ eyes passed over 37 percent 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.

When study results were used in combination with other information on probability of exposure, a full-page four-color magazine ad was determined to have 83 percent of the value of a 30-second TV commercial, while a typical Internet banner ad has 16 percent of the value.

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