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IAB Releases New Standard Ad Unit Portfolio


First Standard Portfolio Upgrade Since 2003 Showcases Brand-Friendly Ad Formats; Research Reveals They Entertain, Enlighten and Engage – at Scale

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Since their introduction in 1996 and most recent update in 2003, the IAB Standard Ad Units helped to create the modern, scalable digital advertising industry. Today over 80 percent of display ads sold have followed IAB standards. To drive the industry forward and create new opportunities for dynamic brand advertising, IAB released a new Standard Ad Unit Portfolio at the fifth IAB Annual Leadership Meeting “Ecosystem 2.0: Beyond Time and Space,” which includes a new range of formats designed to meet marketers’ communications needs across the purchase funnel. Among these are the IAB Rising Stars Display ad units, six new interactive ad units developed and tested in partnership with leading publishers and agencies in the digital world.

“The new IAB portfolio allows creatives to tell bigger, bolder brand stories,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB. “The new units offer more space, greater functionality, and a broader range of user experiences—providing a collection of next-generation interactive canvases designed to leverage the rich, immersive benefits of digital.”

To measure the new units’ ability to deliver at scale for brand advertisers, IAB partnered with IPG Media Lab to conduct proprietary research with Affectiva, GazeHawk and Moat that looked at attentiveness, emotive response and brand lift. Working with BBDO, BBH, Razorfish and SapientNitro, campaigns were tested from AT&T, Jeep and Westin Hotels & Resorts, leveraging all six Rising Stars units for each. The test creative, which was showcased on MSN.com, was built by AOL/Pictela, DoubleClick/Google, MediaMind and Microsoft Advertising.

The research findings revealed that consumers interact significantly more with Rising Stars ads than with incumbent standard ad units (such as the leaderboard and medium rectangle). Users were 2.5 times more likely to interact with a Rising Stars ad unit than a standard ad unit, spent twice as much time interacting with the ad and took less time to react to the ad (two times quicker than with standard ads). Along with increased interaction, eye-tracking showed that users viewed ads longer (31% more) with Rising Stars units versus standard formats.

In addition, study respondents found the Rising Stars ads to be more “enjoyable” and “engaging” when compared to regular displays ads, and they were more likely to say the Rising Stars ads “improved my impression of this web site” and their opinion of the brand.

”Being able to combine eye-tracking and facial-coding with more traditional behavioral analytics and brand lift survey data, and to do all of that in a respondent’s home using their webcam, gives us an amazing new view into the true impact of these cool new ad formats” said Tim McAtee, Research Director, IPG Media.

“As marketers we are all going to be more efficient in maximizing our production resources by having more structure around rich digital advertising units,” said Christi Gettinger, Senior Director Brand Management, Westin Hotels & Resorts. “To date, publishers have been fairly fragmented in their offerings to advertisers and this ultimately drives up production costs to effectively reach our target audience. We are thrilled the IAB team is taking the lead in creating more opportunities for marketers to be effective in connecting with consumers online.”

“Creating truly engaging brand advertising in the digital world has—up until now—typically meant settling for one-off executions with limited reach,” said Emma Cookson, Chairman, BBH New York. “The addition of the Rising Stars to the IAB Standard Ad Unit Portfolio will help allow brilliant work to scale, much like TV has for years.”

“The Rising Stars Display ad units have already proven themselves in the marketplace with exponentially higher interaction rates and interaction time—the core metrics that matter for brand advertisers” said Peter Minnium, Head of Brand Initiatives, IAB. “They can only bring the interactive industry to new heights as part of the IAB Standard Ad Unit Portfolio.”

For the first time ever, the new portfolio offers marketers a range of IAB Standard Ad Units to deploy against their different objectives. Whether a campaign is brand focused and measured by engagement and attitudinal lift, or performance oriented and optimized for conversion, the new-for-2012 IAB Standard Ad Unit Portfolio provides the creative canvasses at scale to reach one’s goals.

To download all of the portfolio’s ad format specifications, please go to www.iab.net/displayguidelines.

About the IAB

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 500 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. On behalf of its members, the IAB is dedicated to the growth of the interactive advertising marketplace, of interactive’s share of total marketing spend, and of its members’ share of total marketing spend. The IAB educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City with a Public Policy office in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.iab.net.

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