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Banner Ads Don't Last Long

Although online advertising continues to grow, the duration of banner campaigns remains short, running on average three weeks or less, a report released today by AdRelevance, a division of Media Metrix, said.

The report, which analyzed standard 468 x 60 banner ad campaigns on the top 500 Web sites between July 1999 and June 2000, found that 51.6 percent of banner ads run for three or fewer weeks, with the average running five and a half weeks.

The automotive industry schedules online ads to run the longest, an average of 7.8 weeks, almost twice as long as the average banner duration for a hardware and electronics ad, which typically lasts 4.1 weeks.

Since few advertisers endeavor on lengthy online campaigns, most fail to tally a significant share of all online ad impressions, the report said. In Q2 2000, 88 percent of advertisers scheduled campaigns of less than 9 million impressions (number of times an ad is rendered for viewing). The average campaign weighed in at 7.3 million impressions, while over half of all advertisers in the second quarter scheduled less than 44,000 impressions. This translates to a majority of advertisers capturing less than a 0.01 percent share of advertising impressions.

"While most advertisers are running relatively short campaigns, shorter campaigns are not necessarily better campaigns," said Charlie Buchwalter, vice president of media research for AdRelevance. "Although shorter campaigns may concentrate banner impressions, thereby increasing the share of voice and share of market for an advertiser, only longer campaigns can bring about a change in consumer attitudes and behavior."

In addition, the study also found that many advertisers favor placing banners on broad-reach sites, such as portals, search engines and community destinations, versus targeted content sites. Web media, financial services and travel advertisers target the least, running on average 83 percent of online impressions on broad sites. On the other hand, the consumer goods industry embraces the most targeted ad approaches, with almost 60 percent of online impression appearing on niche sites.

"The online advertising market is still in its infancy and has a way to go before we can accurately determine what constitutes an effective and successful online ad campaign. We'll know things are changing when more companies commit to larger, longer and more targeted online campaigns," said Buchwalter.


Ann M. Mack, ADWEEK. August 28, 2000

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