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IAB Releases ‘In-Image Advertising Primer’ To Provide An In-Depth Look At An Emerging Ad Type Used In Native Campaigns

Increases in Brand Lift, Click-Through, Engagement and Time Spent Are Illustrated Through Case Studies of Major Brands; Primer Also Offers Recommendations on Targeting, Scale, Brand Safety & Disclosures

NEW YORK, NY (March 20, 2014) — On the heels of the recent release of the “IAB Native Advertising Playbook,” the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and its Image-Based Advertising Working Group have unveiled the “In-Image Advertising Primer,” offering a comprehensive overview of this burgeoning ad type, often leveraged in native advertising campaigns. In-image ads allow relevant ads to be inserted within editorial images across the web and can take several forms, ranging across different ad units – from display and product information overlaid on still photos to videos or rich media that appear when users hover or click on the ad. The paper illustrates in-image advertising’s effectiveness through five case studies with major brand advertisers including Activision, Cat’s Pride, Garnier, Mazda and the Northwest Dealer Group (NDG), each showing increases in key areas, such as brand lift, click-through rates, engagement, time spent, and more.

The paper also highlights research which shows that in-image campaigns focused on driving brand lift for awareness generate an average rise of 37 percent on that front – almost three times the industry average, according to Nielsen Online Brand Effect norms. In addition, DoubleVerify reports that in-image ads are 51 percent more viewable than its published benchmarks for traditional display advertising networks.

The primer details the importance of accurate targeting, scale, with an emphasis on brand safety. It makes clear that all stakeholders in the in-image advertising value chain need to put safeguards in place to ensure ads do not appear on inappropriate photos. Additionally, the paper urges that measures aligned with “IAB Native Advertising Playbook” disclosure principles are put in place to guarantee, regardless of context, that a consumer will be able to distinguish between what is paid advertising from what is publisher editorial content.

“Placing advertising in the viewer’s activity stream is a powerful way to reach audiences and in-image advertising has the potential to do this in an effective and elegant manner,” said Peter Minnium, Head of Brand Initiatives, IAB. “In particular, it can bring a new level of relevancy by leveraging the power of the visual web for marketers – something that has not been done well at scale to date.”

“This paper is an essential first step toward informing brands about how they can harness the power of images,” said Tony Winders, Senior Vice President, Marketing, GumGum and chair of the IAB Image-Based Advertising Working Group. “Consumers are clearly drawn to visual content and research shows they are more likely to view and engage with ads when they are overlaid on that content. In-image advertising has proven its ability to capitalize on these facts – in turn benefitting marketers that incorporate it into their campaign strategies.”

To download the “In-Image Advertising Primer,” please visit here.

DV uses a geometric-based approach that utilizes browser properties to calculate whether an ad was in view at any instant of time. Unique browser-specific implementation ensures accurate measurement across all browsers. The DV viewability solution was accredited by the Media Ratings Council (MRC) in early 2013.

Average brand lift was calculated from Nielsen Online Brand Effect advertising effectiveness studies conducted by GumGum, Luminate and Vibrant Media. Brand lift averages are based on a total of seven studies measuring performance against four objectives across the three companies. Industry average referenced with regard to awareness performance is based on brand lift from all digital awareness campaigns asking a standard awareness question as measured by Nielsen Online Brand Effect.

About the IAB
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 600 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

IAB Media Contact
Laura Goldberg
[email protected]