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Online Publishers Association Unveils Biometric and Eye Tracking Research to Assess the Effectiveness of New OPA Ad Units
Date:11/2/2010

NEW YORK, Nov. 2, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The Online Publishers Association (OPA) today released a new study, "Biometric Evaluation: Assessing the Effectiveness of the OPA Ad Unit," that found that 90 percent of participants notice OPA Ad Units in the first 10 seconds of being on a webpage and users who fixated(1) on the OPA Ad Units during the same timeframe were as emotionally engaged with the advertising as with the rest of the webpage content. The study further revealed that 67 percent of users returned to look at the OPA Ad Units after spending time elsewhere on the webpage.

OPA partnered with Innerscope Research, Inc., the leader in using biometrics to deliver emotion-based consumer insights, to study the impact and advertising effectiveness of the OPA Ad Units. Since traditional research methods are limited in their ability to measure how the end user specifically engages with advertising, Innerscope's technology allowed the OPA to better understand the impact of the OPA Ad Units, which are designed to provide a platform for marketers to deliver their brand experiences as opposed to encouraging consumers to click. OPA Ad Units, which include(2) the Pushdown, the Fixed Panel and the XXL Box, were introduced in July of 2009.

"A key question for advertisers is whether consumers notice their ad and if they engage with it; through Innerscope's biometric technology we found that OPA Ad Units are having significant impact in driving emotional engagement," said Pam Horan, President of the OPA. "We can actually see a participants' eye tracking activity as they view the ad, read the content, and then return to the ad. The findings show that OPA Ad Units are not only drawing attention back to the advertising, but are also generating significant interest and therefore are a very effective platform for brand marketers to deliver messages."

Additional results from "Biometric Evaluation: Assessing the Effectiveness of the OPA Ad Unit" include:

  • 96 percent of participants pay attention to OPA Ad Units while naturally surfing
  • 73 percent of users who fixated on units in the first 10 seconds displayed a stronger emotional response to the advertising than to the rest of the webpage
  • On average it takes 0.6 seconds to fixate on an OPA Ad Unit
  • On average, participants fixate over 15 times on OPA Ad Units
  • 40 percent of these fixations occur after the first 10 seconds of being on a webpage

Study participants were directed to the homepages of three OPA member sites -- CNN.com, MSNBC.com and NYTimes.com -- and given the option to select from a specific group of top stories that featured evergreen content. These homepages and particular article pages were recreated for the purposes of this study so that an OPA Ad Unit could be randomly presented on the targeted article pages. Nine brand advertisers were involved in the study, including Cleveland Clinic, Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft Bing, Unilever and Westin Hotels. Once a participant surfed away from a target article by clicking a link to another article, they could freely browse the rest of the news websites, creating a natural reading experience.

"We have been employing OPA Ad Units for a number of Razorfish clients since the OPA members launched them last year and have found them to be great for creating and reinforcing brand engagement," said Julie Weitzner, VP Media, Razorfish. "The units provide us with a strong platform to deliver great creative and have proven to be powerful tools to engage website visitors."

About the OPA

Founded in June 2001, the Online Publishers Association is an industry trade organization whose mission is to advance the interests of high-quality online publishers before the advertising community, the press, the government and the public. Members of OPA represent the standards in Internet publishing with respect to editorial quality and integrity, credibility and accountability. OPA's membership has an unduplicated audience of 172.5 million unique visitors or 83% reach of the U.S. online population (comScore Media Metrix, January 2010). For more information, visit www.online-publishers.org.

About Innerscope

Innerscope Research, Inc. is dedicated to solving difficult market research questions by measuring and analyzing unconscious emotional responses to media and marketing stimuli.  With its breakthrough Biometric Monitoring System™, Innerscope accurately predicts consumer behaviors, providing Fortune 100 advertisers and media companies with an unprecedented level of consumer insight.  Founded by Harvard and MIT scientists, Innerscope leverages the latest advances in biometrics, neuroscience and eye tracking to measure moment-to-moment emotional engagement, the primary driver of behavior and choice.  For more information, visit www.innerscope.com.

(1)  Fixation is a pause in eye movement long enough to process a piece of information and decide where to look next. (Innerscope Research)

(2)  The Fixed Panel: 336 wide x 700 tall, remains constant as the user scrolls to the top and bottom of the page; The XXL Box: 468 wide x 648 tall, open size 936 wide x 648 tall, has page-turn functionality with video capability; The Pushdown: 970 wide x 418 tall, opens to display the advertisement and then after seven seconds rolls up to 970 wide x 66 tall


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