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IAB Rising Stars Ad Units Generate New Levels of Consumer Engagement with Display

IAB Delivers on Promise to Build Rich and Powerful Canvas for the Next Generation of Interactive Brand Advertising

NEW YORK, NY (October 4, 2011) — Launching its groundbreaking Rising Stars Display ad units this past February, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) pledged that it would drive a creative transformation of the interactive advertising space and boost marketers’ confidence that they could successfully build brands online. This morning, the early results from the Rising Stars, announced at the IAB MIXX Conference & Expo, prove that these brand canvases propel new heights of consumer interaction and engagement.

Built to allow creatives the freedom to take advantage of interactive’s full scope of benefits, these ad formats have already garnered strong payoffs for top-tier marketers such as BMW, Procter & Gamble, Levi’s, Ford, and HBO, taking the evaluation of online advertising campaigns beyond click-through rates.

“Rising Stars was designed to unlock all the unique and creative assets that the interactive advertising arena has to offer, giving marketers a dynamic and vibrant canvas on which to tell their brand stories,” said Peter Minnium, Consulting Director, IAB, and lead of the Rising Stars initiative. “We are only scratching the surface of what these new ad formats can bring to bear, rousing the next wave of evolution in our industry.”

Both the Billboard from Google and YouTube, and the Filmstrip submitted by Microsoft, brought in impressive returns. Consumers who saw the IAB Billboard on YouTube were four times more likely to watch the company’s videos, search for the brand, or visit the advertiser’s site, than those who were not exposed to the ad. Also striking high marks, the IAB Filmstrip has increased both exposure time and interaction rates by over 90 percent compared to other rich media ads on the MSN homepage.

“In marketing our new Giulietta, we needed to engage and connect with our target consumer. A car purchase is a complex and emotional process. Each panel of the Filmstrip invited the user to explore a different aspect of our new car—the sleek exterior, the details of the interior, the engine designed for performance,” said Maurizio Spagnulo, Digital Marketing Director, Alfa Romeo and Fiat Group Automobiles. “We were thrilled with the engagement that the Filmstrip delivered. Sixty percent of users who interacted with the Giulietta Filmstrip watched the video on the last panel through to completion, and the average exposure time for a user on MSN Italy was over seven minutes!”

Adding more fuel to the Rising Stars fire, the IAB Sidekick, submitted by Unicast, has already seen ad engagement time soar to seven times the industry average. Similarly, the AOL/Pictela-developed Pushdown has upped ad engagement to more than three times the norm. Meanwhile, AOL’s Portrait unit also shines, with engagement rates averaging 7 percent and regularly climbing into the double digits in certain categories.

“Today, effective online communication with consumers can’t just be calculated based on standard click-through rates. Digital has other unique capabilities that can help us capture mindshare,” said David Levin, President, Creative & Technology, 360i. “And, with the help of the new IAB ad formats like the Sidekick and the Pushdown, we are able to deliver more engaging experiences that strengthen our brand messages and the stories we tell online.”

Promoting comparable innovation on mobile platforms, the IAB has also been calling for entries to the Rising Stars Mobile Contest. The winning ad units for mobile are expected to be unveiled at the IAB Annual Leadership Summit in February 2012.

“Early evidence of Rising Stars Display’s success only spurs us to work more closely with publishers, creatives and marketers to make sure that these units become industry standards, and that our upcoming mobile units deliver the same sort of brand-building results,” said David Doty, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, IAB.

About the IAB
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 500 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]

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