February 11, 2014

Most of Us Ignore Online Ads – Talk About Short Engagements!

When it comes to marketing executives looking at best buys for their messaging, and to financial community valuations of online companies like Google (News Alert), Facebook, etc., divining effectiveness is critical.  This leads to an interesting question as to the level of customer engagement generated from advertising on various platforms.  

In fact, many have predicted that the amount of time spent online was going to revolutionize what we pay attention to and what we ignore.  Some have even felt that broadcast media like TV and radio would die a painful death at the hands of the Internet.  Well, a new study from Stockholdm, Sweden-based Goo Technologies, a provider of HTML5 high-end graphics for games and interactive visualizations, shows that reports of the death of old media as a means to engage customers are a bit premature.  In fact, what the study highlights is that the online folks have a long way to go when it comes to capturing our eyes and translating that into wallet share. 

A tale of multiple media and us

Goo, whose flagship product is the Goo Create cloud platform, released the results of its first annual Goo Online Advertising Survey. Conducted online by Harris Interactive (News Alert) during January of this year, the study surveyed over 2,000 Americans aged 18 and older, examining the potential impact of gaming technology in the advertising space. It also obviously wanted to take a snapshot of consumer behavior around the types of ads we see.

In evaluating your own behavior and in the context of a society that seems to have communal attention deficit disorder (ADD), it may not be surprising that 92 percent of Americans ignore at least one type of ad daily, including:

  • Online – 82 percent
  • Television – 37 percent
  • Radio – 36 percent
  • Newspaper – 35 percent 

For those online companies, the granularity of the survey might be a bit disheartening.  The online ads Americans are most likely to ignore included:

  • Online banner ads – 73 percent
  • Social media ads – 62 percent
  • Search engine ads – 59 percent

Adding to the pain, the higher one’s income (i.e. the more desirable you are as a customer because of your discretionary income), the more likely you are to ignore ads.  The highest wage earners, those with a household income of $100k+ per year, were statistically more likely than those households making less than $50k per year (86 percent vs. 78 percent, respectively) to say they ignore online ads.

The report also contained some advice.  For example, forty-two percent said that interactive ads are the most engaging, citing several reasons, including that they look more interesting (20 percent), don’t feel like an ad at all (15 percent), and look new and high tech (12 percent).

 But wait, there is more!

When asked what improvements would make them pay more attention to online ads, more than half of Americans (58 percent) – and fully 69 percent of Millennials (ages 18-34) – suggested the following:

  • Make the ad funny – 40 percent
  •  Make it entertaining – 32 percent
  •  Add stunning graphics – 19 percent 

Ten percent of Americans even said they were more likely to pay attention to an online ad if it featured a sexy man or woman. Also, Millennials are more likely than any other age group (21 percent vs. 9 percent of those ages 35+) to say they would pay attention to online ads if they were interactive.

 “The results of the study point to a real concern for advertisers, mainly that online ads have become so pervasive that many say they are now ignoring them altogether,” said Marcus Krüger, executive chairman, Goo Technologies. “The opportunity for improvement represented by the data suggests that consumers not only want funny, more interesting ads, but they are also demanding more engagement with impressive graphics and interactivity. We believe the application of innovative gamification methodology and interactive rich web graphics can close this gap. Creative people need access to a powerful yet simple interface to change the way ads are created.”

 Ooey Gooey!

One of the emerging trends not just in advertising but in things like training and the development of educational tools is “gamification.” The idea is simple and compelling, although the execution is complicated.  It follows the advice about making things fun, entertaining and visually enticing to produce an immersive experience that draws people in and, in theory, instigates actions.  Goo Technology, is gamifying (assuming that is a word) the publication and distribution of ads by enabling seamless instant and interactive 2D and 3D game experiences directly in browsers. This enables their customers to deliver their games as-a-service.  The deliverable is increased revenues and reduced costs by simplifying development and maintenance. Plus, games can be published across all Web channels and on any device. 

The American phrase “ooey, gooey,” is typically ascribed to a mouth-watering (probably high-caloric and bad for you) treat. In fact, the term alone conjures up visions of earthly delights and can compel us to run to the nearest cupcake store for a fix.  That is precisely the idea behind Goo Technologies, and as the survey shows, the online community, when it comes to advertising, is not giving us tasty morsels to consume.  That said, one thing you can count on is they are fast learners and gamification is a space to watch closely as a result. 

Edited by Blaise McNamee


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