DoubleClick: Video-Ad Click Rates Better Than Image Ads’

March 24, 2007

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Online audiences have high interaction rates with video ads, users click the “Play” button more than they click on image ads, video ads are typically played two-thirds of the way through and video ad click rates are far higher than those of image-format ads, according to recent research from digital marketing technology and services provider DoubleClick.

The overall average interaction rate for ads studied was a healthy 8 percent. Interaction rate refers to all interactions with the video ad units, including mouseovers, expansions, interactions with the video control buttons, clicks and other similar events. That number is then divided by the total impressions served.

Video click rates are far higher than for image (GIF/JPG) ads. Though most advertisers think of online video ads as a format for driving brand awareness, video ads fare very well when judged by direct-response standards. The click-through rate for online video ads range from 0.4 percent to 0.74 percent, depending on the video format, whereas the click-through rate for plain GIF or JPG image ads is between 0.1 and 0.2 percent, according to DoubleClick data.

On average, video ads are played two-thirds of the way through: 19.1 seconds for a 30-second ad and 10.3 seconds for a 15-second ad. There is little difference in the length of play between ads that expand to a larger display window and standard video ads that do not expand. The majority of the video ad units observed in this analysis were embedded in web pages as opposed to being within streaming video content.

Users click the video “Play” button more than they click on image ads. The video control consumers are most likely to click is the “Play” button: at 0.32 percent, that’s roughly twice the rate for a standard JPG or GIF ad (the standard CTR for image ads is between 0.1 and 0.2 percent). The cumulative control-panel interaction rate is 1.13 percent (the sum of all control panel interactions as a percent of impressions served).

“Online video ads are quickly becoming the medium of choice to drive both brand awareness and sales,” said Rick Bruner, research director at DoubleClick. “The results show that there are clear ROI advantages to placing video ads. We expect to see strong growth in the number of companies reaping the benefits of online video advertising in the coming months and years.”

DoubleClick’s objective for the research was to identify major trends in the performance metrics of online video ad campaigns according to campaign features, such as vertical industry sector, ad format, ad size and ad length. Its analysis is based on aggregated and cleansed data from video placements of 301 ad campaigns by 131 advertisers, accounting for 2.7 billion video ad impressions. Those campaigns ran between June and September 2006. Almost all video units in this analysis were auto-play ads, almost all of which played with the sound off until users interacted to trigger sound.

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