When asked which ad formats they prefer the most and the least, Internet users in the US, and I presume this would be the same in Canada as well, they answered overwhelmingly (compared to other formats) that they prefer email ads. eMarketer recently published a report on opt-in email offers and loyalty which is where this comes from.
47% of respondents from the Adpropo study from November 2011 indicate they have a positive attitude towards email ads. Another 21% have neutral attitudes towards them and only 32% have negative attitudes.
Video pre-roll ads also enjoy the users’ appreciation with 31% positive and 28% neutral. Facebook ads, regular banner ads (display advertising) are where attitudes shift to neutral more than positive while the negative attitudes hover around 40%. Mobile ads, Floating ads, audio and pop-up ads generate more negative attitudes than neutral and positive combined
What does this all mean? Email advertising in Canada only represents 1% of total online advertising ad spend. It is the least used format. A good email campaign open-rate is around 20-30%, meaning most people don’t even notice the few ads that are delivered to them. Of course people don’t mind them, too few of us are exposed to them to be bothered by them.
In second place are video ads which, like TV ads, are generally appreciated by people. These creative are usually of better quality and more entertaining than regular banner ads. We also know they (most often) last a maximum of 30 seconds, so we tolerate them easily enough knowing what we wanted to see, a video content, is coming up real quick.
Facebook and banner ads we either notice or not. No one surfs the web seeking ads – we know they’ll be everywhere. At any given time we, as consumers, are considering buying something or other, whether it’s something simple like groceries or more significant like an appliance, that’s when we notice ads about those things we are considering. Advertising for things we are not “in-market” for we really do not pay attention to. Every once in a while there’s a really great creative which captures our attention even if we don’t intend on buying this or that, but that’s rather rare. Display advertising doesn’t by itself hinder our navigation of websites, so it’s normal it doesn’t bother us.
In-Game ads elicit similar reactions, but not for the same reasons. We more often than not do not notice ads in gaming environments because our concentration is focused on our gaming experience.
Mobile ads, while not really bothersome, nor very big, still take up a significant portion of the small screen and it’s that share which seems to be too much for users. In the ad’s defense, anything smaller wouldn’t be worth anything because it would be too small for any message with any meaning to be displayed there.
Floating ads, audio ads and pop-up ads are more generally annoying. They are meant to disrupt or interrupt our surfing session to capture our attention. Given the point I made for display advertising, more often than not the ads are for things we are not in the market for so they bother us.