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IAB Display Rising Stars Outperform Traditional Display Ads Across Key Brand Effectiveness Metrics, According to In-Depth Research Study from IAB & C3Research

Rising Stars Prompt 30% Greater Brand Lift & Generate Three Times the Ad Recall Over Legacy IAB Universal Ad Package Formats

PHOENIX, AZ (February 9, 2015) — The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and C3Research today released “Rising Stars Ads and Brand Equity,” a new research study that demonstrates that Display Rising Stars ads, introduced by the IAB in 2011 as next-generation, rich media canvasses for ad creative, are more effective in brand building than legacy ad formats in the IAB Universal Ad Package (UAP). The data clearly shows that IAB Display Rising Stars deliver 30 percent stronger brand lift than UAP formats with just one full exposure, rising to 42 percent when consumers interact with a Rising Stars ad. Rising Stars also beat traditional display ads when it comes to ad recall, with consumers remembering half of the Rising Stars viewed – triple the recall of the legacy digital display ads presented.

The study also finds:

  • Rising Stars ads attracted gaze at a 63% higher rate than traditional UAP ads, and had 5 times longer total gaze duration
  • Consumers were less likely to avoid looking at such ads compared to legacy UAP ads
  • Engagement with the Rising Stars ads was significantly higher across the board with findings demonstrating that these ads were more entertaining, creative, humorous, and evoked higher emotional response
  • Despite their bigger size, Rising Stars were considered less annoying than traditional UAP ads
  • Rising Stars Ads generated significantly greater scores on core measures of persuasion

Differences in interaction rates are also significant. Rising Stars ads generated interaction rates of 34 percent compared to 11 percent for legacy UAP ads. Furthermore, consumers who interacted with Rising Stars gave them ratings that on average were 16.6 percent higher across brand equity metrics.

“Display Rising Stars ads outperform legacy digital formats when it comes to advertising effect and brand lift,” said Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President, Research, Analytics and Measurement, IAB. “We knew that better creative canvasses have visual and emotional appeal, and garner interaction. The big challenge has been to demonstrate that aesthetic breakthroughs contributes to brand equity and our rigorous and comprehensive study substantiates that.”

Asked about the leading attributes of Rising Stars ads over legacy formats, consumers said that the newer ad formats:

  • Give more personality to the brand (65%)
  • Are more engaging (64%)
  • Give consumers more control (60%)
  • Are more informative (60%)

“Brand marketers have leveraged IAB Display Rising Stars ad products over the years due to their potent combination of innovation and scale,” said Peter Minnium, Head of Brand Initiatives, IAB. “I am pleased now see definitive findings on what we’ve instinctively known all along: that consumers pay more attention, see more value in the brand advertised, and genuinely enjoy Rising Stars ads better than legacy UAP units – giving marketers a new level of brand building capabilities online.”

“The IAB came to us to ensure that this research was thorough and that the findings would be indisputable,” said Samar Das, Ph.D, CEO, C3Research. “This study provides substantial insights that can be used by advertisers and agencies to develop the Rising Stars ads to its fullest potential and introduce the next generation of advertising in the marketplace.”

“Rising Stars Ads and Brand Equity” was released at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting in Phoenix. To download the complete study, please visit

The study consisted of two phases of research. First, IDI Eye Tracking sessions were conducted (Sept-Nov 2014) with 96 respondents. Two fully interactive travel and health websites were custom-built to create natural browsing experiences for participants. Ad units displayed within these sites during the sessions represented a variety of industries and creative executions. A total of 10 “ad pairs” were made for testing, each pair containing one IAB Display Rising Stars ad and one legacy UAP ad. After the sessions, participants took a survey to measure brand rating, ad ratings as well as interaction ratings, followed by a qualitative debrief. Findings from the IDI Eye Tracker sessions helped form the basis of the quantitative survey.

The national quantitative online survey portion of the research included 1,515 respondents and was conducted (Dec-Jan 2015). It measured ad ratings, brand ratings and determined the effect of interaction on brand lift. Attention, engagement, and persuasion dimensions were used to assess the drivers of ad effectiveness and brand lift.

Companies and brands involved in the study include:

Canon EA Energizer
J&J General Mills Isobar
Kraft Jivox JWT
Mindshare MEC Mediacom
Sizmek Moat Samsung
Unilever Spongecell Starcom
Vox Media

About C3Research
C3Research is an advanced marketing research company specializing in brand and digital media strategy, customer value measurement, and analytical modeling of media & markets. The company is structured as three applied centers of research: the Center for Brand Research, the Center for Customer Value Measurement, and the Center for Business Research. C3Research Weblab is a 6000 sq. ft. consumer research lab based in Orlando and has pioneered advanced lab based experimental research methods to study web and digital media, web branding, interactive advertising effectiveness, and prototype testing for web and digital media applications. The C3Research Corporate Office is based in Orlando, Florida and a branch office is located in New York.

About the IAB
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy. It is comprised of more than 650 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling, delivering, and optimizing digital advertising or marketing programs. Together, they account for 86 percent of online advertising in the United States. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. The organization is committed to professional development, elevating the knowledge, skills, and expertise of individuals across the digital marketing industry. The IAB also educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City.

IAB Media Contact
Laura Goldberg
[email protected]