July 1, 2010, 2:19 PM

Consumers like display ads flashy and rich

40.3% of U.S. online display ad impressions are for ads that use Adobe Flash or other rich media technology, a new report finds.

Lead Photo

40.3% of U.S. online display ad impressions are for ads that use Adobe Flash or other rich media technology, a new report from web measurement firm comScore Inc. finds.

The research is the first in comScore’s series of Ad Metrix Creative Summary Reports, designed to analyze the size, formats, and types of display ads that consumers view on the web.

Flash ads, according to comScore, can include animation, click-through functionality, and interactivity. Examples of rich media ads include those that offer video and are expandable or retractable. Flash and rich ads are used by such online ad networks as Pointroll, EyeBlaster, EyeWonder, Unicast and Interpolis. 

 

Some, such as comScore, more narrowly define rich media, separating out Flash, while others take a broader view and include all Flash as rich media.

While Flash and rich media ads had a strong showing, ads using the more established JPEG picture technology came in first for impressions. JPEG display ads led the market with more than 42.4% of impressions in the U.S. Ads using the GIF image format accounted for 14.1%. Banners 728 x 90 in dimension were the most frequently viewed by size, comScore reports.

When it comes to display ads ranked by size, banners accounted for 23.1% of impressions followed by rectangles with 22.7%. When looking at ads with specific measurements, medium rectangles sized 300 x 250 pixels took 18.6% of impressions, followed by leaderboards, or ads sized 728 x 90, at 18.3% and buttons 120 x 90 with 14.7%. Pop-up ads and pop-under ads, which display behind a browser window, account for less than 1% of all display ad impressions. ComScore says this is likely because many browsers block pop-ups.

To view the ComScore data please click here.

“We’ve witnessed a strong resurgence in the display ad market over the past several months, with the number of impressions up 15% versus a year ago,” says Jeff Hackett, comScore senior vice president. “One of the several drivers of strength in this market has been the innovation occurring with respect to ad units, as larger and more engaging creative ad formats are employed.”

Display ads are getting more complex, especially as more e-retailers attempt to retarget consumers that have left an e-commerce site. E-commerce vendor GSI Commerce, an e-commerce platform provider, and MyBuys, a personalization vendor, each recently purchased retargeting companies. Retargeting is the process of showing consumers who previously visited a retail site a targeted ad based on the items they viewed,  products they placed in their cart, the way they navigated a web site, their purchase history and other information. Such ads are typically more complex than traditional display ads, for example, some show a carousel of several items from an e-retail site or enable consumers to click directly through to a product page.

 

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