Research on IAB Rising Stars Display Ad Units Shows Big Lift Across Core Interactive Metrics

Rising Stars Ad Formats Gain Widespread Global Adoption

IAB MIXX Conference & Expo 2012

NEW YORK – Less than eight months after they were made a part of the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Standard Ad Unit Portfolio, the Rising Stars display ad units yield significantly higher interactive consumer engagement in online campaigns, according to proprietary research from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Moat. The study’s findings were released during the annual MIXX Conference & Expo in New York.

To measure the new units’ impact and results for brand advertisers, IAB and Moat tested 4 million ad impressions, examining five of the six Rising Stars ad formats – the Portrait, Slider, Sidekick, Billboard and Filmstrip – against two earlier IAB standard banner ad units (300×250 and 728×90).

Working with agencies BBDO, BBH, Mindshare, Razorfish and SapientNitro, the online display ad campaigns were tested from brand advertisers such as AT&T, Jeep, Unilever/Axe and Westin Hotels & Resorts. Campaigns were measured on AOL, Forbes, MSN, Viacom and Yahoo!, and they were built by DoubleClick/Google, MediaMind, Pictela and PointRoll.

Two new IAB measurement metrics were implemented to compare the Rising Stars formats versus the legacy standard units: Universal Interaction Rate (UIR), the percent of users who intentionally enter the frame of the ad for at least half a second, and Universal Interaction Time (UIT), the average amount of time users spend on the ad.

Key findings include:

  • Users spent approximately 50 percent more time (UIT) interacting with an ad through the Rising Stars format (5.8 seconds) versus the legacy standard IAB ad units (3.9 seconds)
  • The rate by which consumers interacted with an ad (UIR) through the Rising Stars format compared with the older IAB standard ad unit more than doubled – 9.6 percent versus 3.9 percent

“It is abundantly clear from the results of this research that the Rising Stars display ad formats not only give rise to new opportunities for global brands and digital marketers, but also bring campaign results to new heights,” said Peter Minnium, Head of Brand Initiatives, IAB. “They were introduced by the IAB as part of our new Standard Ad Unit Portfolio for this very reason. And, now the Rising Stars are the cornerstone of that offering – constituting half of the total portfolio.”

The Rising Stars program includes display units, as well as the recently released, in-market Mobile Rising Stars and the soon-to-come Digital Video Rising Stars, due early 2013.

“Click-through rates are no longer a solid measure of an interactive campaign’s true worth to a brand marketer,” said Jonah Goodheart, CEO and Co-Founder, Moat. “This is why the creation and rapid adoption of the Rising Stars units is critical to the growth of the industry. As revealed in this new research, the Rising Stars formats hit on all cylinders, delivering results in areas that will be the new crucial measures of success.”

The Rising Stars Go Global

In addition to releasing research findings, the IAB today announced that Rising Stars display formats are quickly gaining significant traction with gold-label global and regional brands. These marketers have reported impressive results for ad campaigns using various Rising Stars ad formats.

To date, one or more of the Rising Stars display formats have already been adopted on five continents and in more than 35 countries – including Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and, of course, the U.S.

“Lancôme represents elegance and beauty. We needed an online ad format that would live up to this brand promise and invite user engagement. The Filmstrip did just that, with its elegant interface of large, sliding panels,” said Virginie Gerin, Digital and CRM Director, Lancôme France.

“Rising Stars initial adopters in Mexico have realized their benefits in terms of creativity and innovation,” said Gabriel Richaud, Director, IAB Mexico. “We’ve already seen major brands like Grupo Modelo (Corona), Coca-Cola, Telcel and Colgate using the Filmstrip and Billboard units, with very positive feedback. We feel confident that more examples will come in the following months and IAB Mexico will play an important role in promoting the usage of the Rising Stars among agencies and advertisers.”

“Doubling the rate of time and interactivity between the consumer and a brand is a powerful asset for digital marketers around the world,” said David Doty, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, IAB, who also heads the organization’s international efforts and partnerships. “The Rising Stars ad formats have already established their ability to be a digital industry catalyst for enhancing confidence in ad display campaign results and maximizing ROI for brands. The international momentum of adoption only reinforces that they are raising the bar.”

To view the full Rising Stars research report, please visit

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

About Moat

Moat is a New York-based SaaS company focused on building products for brand advertisers and premium publishers. The company was founded by Jonah Goodhart, Noah Goodhart, and Michael Walrath. The serial entrepreneurs had previously partnered together to launch Right Media, which was acquired by Yahoo! in 2007. For more information on Moat, visit