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IAB Study Proves Mobile Video Interactive Shoppable Ads Drive Direct Relationships Between Consumers & Brands

Mobile Video Interactive Ad Research Shows Immediate Notice of & Higher Response to Calls-to-Action; “Learn More” Elicits Highest Engagement

New York, NY (October 30, 2018) – Mobile video interactive shoppable ads are effective at capturing user attention and driving brand lift, according to “The Interactive Ad Effect: CTAs in Mobile Video Shoppable Ads,” a study from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and its Digital Video Center of Excellence. Across multiple methodologies, the research shows that interactive ads with a call-to-action (CTA) get greater user attention, with consumers giving more thought and attention to mobile shoppable ads when creative includes a CTA—laying the groundwork for a direct relationship between the consumer and the advertiser. Furthermore, the study identifies that the first five seconds of interactive ads with CTAs gain the most attention, demonstrating the need for advertisers to include their brand messaging upfront.

By testing three distinct CTAs on interactive shoppable ads across four different verticals, the research uncovered that while all CTAs increase attention, leveraging a “Learn More” message yields higher engagement and greater recall. Respondents that were served “Learn More” messaging paid more attention to the ad than those who received “Shop Now” calls-to-action. The study also confirmed that consumers like ads that allow them to shop for the product and offer the convenience of purchasing directly from an ad.

“These findings indicate that customers note the ability to shop or learn more right from the onset. The great promise for shoppable ads, then, is not only the immediate ability to capture sales, but also in smart retargeting,” said Sue Hogan, Senior Vice President, Research and Measurement, IAB. “Retargeted ads would provide greater potential for brands to both convert to sales as well as to build direct relationships with consumers.”

“It’s clear that a brand’s first ‘handshake’ with a consumer should focus on letting them learn more about the product before transitioning to ‘shop now’ language,” said Eric John, Deputy Director, IAB Digital Video Center of Excellence. “This study is a reminder that it’s important for advertisers—especially direct brands—to pay attention to calls-to-action used in interactive and shoppable video ads and then to test and learn to understand what works best and why. A data-driven approach is table stakes for effective creative innovation.”

Representing the first phase of IAB’s efforts to help brands and buyers develop new video advertising formats, its overall goal is to highlight which formats are showing the most promise and through studies like this, outline best practices for driving successful innovation and results. The research incorporated three distinct methodologies to determine results: biometrics, which tracks physical arousal via heartbeat and perspiration and correlates to attention and concentration; eye tracking, which measures how many people view the CTA, how long they look, and how frequently; and a mid and post survey, to capture aided and unaided recall and brand metrics.

“The Interactive Ad Effect: CTAs in Mobile Video Shoppable Ads” was released at the IAB Direct Brand Summit. The complete study is available for download at

Seventy Austin and Chicago residents participated in a lab-based study, conducted by MediaScience, in which participants were exposed to an unbranded mobile short-form video platform. Four :15 second pre-roll video ads were served during each session. Each interactive ad featured a different call-to-action (or no call-to-action) and featured one of four brands in the verticals of Auto, CPG, Entertainment-Movies, or Retail. Biometrics, eye tracking, and survey tools were used to measure implicit levels of engagement and attention, as well as explicit responses such as brand memory and purchase intent. Biometric measures included both skin conductivity (sweat) and heart rate. Skin conductivity measures the intensity of a person’s response to the content they encounter. Heart rate can be used to measure attention to brand messaging (the heart slows as we process new information). This is reported as the interbeat interval, which is the amount of time between each heartbeat. Eye tracking measures the period of time the eye falls on a particular area of the screen to help gauge interest and thought.

About IAB
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy. Its membership is comprised of more than 650 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling, delivering, and optimizing digital advertising or marketing campaigns. The trade group fields critical research on interactive advertising, while also educating brands, agencies, and the wider business community on the importance of digital marketing. In affiliation with the IAB Tech Lab, it develops technical standards and best practices. IAB and the IAB Education Foundation are committed to professional development and elevating the knowledge, skills, expertise, and diversity of the workforce across the industry. Through the work of its public policy office in Washington, D.C., IAB advocates for its members and promotes the value of the interactive advertising industry to legislators and policymakers. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City and has a San Francisco office.

IAB Media Contact
Laura Goldberg
[email protected]