October 9, 2008, 12:00 AM

Money-saving tip: text ads more popular than pricier video ads, study says

The study by iPerceptions, which gathers feedback from online consumers, shows simple text ads are the most popular, and video ads the least likely to generate a click. The under-25 set is the one group that really likes video ads.

Most online consumers prefer text and banner ads to pricier video ads, according to a survey by iPerceptions, a company that analyzes consumers’ web activity. The one exception: consumers under 25 are drawn to video ads.

25% of consumers studied were most likely to click on text ads, 20% on right-side banner ads, 12% on top banners, 11% on video ads and the rest on other types of ads or none at all. The study was based on feedback from 14,000 visitors to media web sites in August.

“Retail groups are predicting the toughest holiday season since 1991, so marketers need to make sure every dollar spent on advertising delivers an end result,” says Jonathan Levitt, vice president of marketing at iPerceptions. “Our research shows that inexpensive banner and text ads are still preferred among web consumers.”

The survey also found that the likelihood of a consumer clicking on an ad diminishes with income, as 40% of those who click online ads make less than $50,000 a year and only 15% make more than $150,000. The results also suggest that loyal visitors are more likely to view ads: 65% of consumers likely to click on ads at a particular site come to that site daily or weekly, while 15% are first-time visitors and 6% come to the site occasionally.

“Our research clearly shows that media sites that offer consumers compelling content and features-encouraging repeat visits-generate much better ad click-through rates than less engaging sites,” Levitt says. “Marketers that want to reach high quality audiences should focus ad placement on sites that deliver the highest customer loyalty and repeat visitor traffic.”

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