25 November, 2007: Online advertising unequivocally contributes to brand building according to research released today by Nielsen Online and IAB Australia. The research which involved a comprehensive study of the mediums brand building capabilities, was conducted by Nielsen Online and involved Kellogg’s product brand Sultana Bran, media agency Mindshare and five online publishers; Fairfax Digital, NewsDigital Media, ninemsn, MediaSmart and Yahoo!7.

Targeting main grocery buyers with children, the research found intention to purchase Sultana Bran increased an impressive 37 percent across the whole sample and brand consideration increased 17 percent when consumers were exposed to the online ads versus a control group not exposed to any of the Sultana Bran creative online.

Across the target audience intention to purchase increased 18.9 percent, favourable sentiment increased 11.7 percent, prompted brand awareness increased 6.2 percent; and there was a 9.5 percent increase in respondents intending to recommend the cereal to children their household.

Interestingly the study also found that even when the ad was not recalled, consumers still demonstrated a strong increase in intention to purchase.

According to Paul Fisher, CEO of IAB Australia, the results have been warmly welcomed by the industry as they provide long awaited quantitative data for marketers to further justify increases in their online advertising for brand building.

“Across the three key brand metrics – intention to purchase, brand awareness and recall – online advertising clearly demonstrated it has significant positive impacts for FMCG brands. Not only is this a significant result for online advertising, Kelloggs and all involved, it proves beyond any doubt that consumers are strongly influenced by online advertising in their brand purchase decisions.

“The online medium has long been lauded as purely a direct response medium. This study, along with the many other similar studies conducted internationally; clearly demonstrate the impact online advertising has on brand as well as direct response. Online can now be considered a complete solution for marketer’s needs, and the results deliver a compelling reason to increase the use of online advertising in marketing plans and budgets.

“This is especially important as we enter volatile times when marketers seek greater measurability and accountability and need to achieve their goals of reaching and engaging consumers with minimum wastage,” said Mr Fisher.

He added “This result is especially gratifying as we chose an FMCG product and brand, from an industry category that currently represents only five percent of Australia’s display advertising online. I think we will see that share rise in 2009 to above eight percent in line with the US online advertising market.”

According to Tony Marlow Associate Research Director at Nielsen Online, while this research case study involved an FMCG brand, the results are consistent with previous proprietary research conducted into the brand impact of online display advertising across automotive, finance and retail categories.

“We’ve conducted numerous private Ad Effectiveness research studies exploring the impact of online campaigns beyond click-thru rates, and the findings from our study with IAB Australia confirm the results we’ve found to date. The findings should be an eye opener for many key players within the advertising and media space who will discover for the first time just how impactful the online medium can be for a brand,” said Mr Marlow.

Kerry Field, National Director at Mindshare commented: “The simple message is that online really does work for branding. We have seen similar studies from IAB in US but having concrete evidence with proof points at a local level is far more powerful.

“Mindshare has always been a firm believer in the web as a branding medium and have a number of clients who invest accordingly. However it can be hard to sell to clients who are not confident or are unsure of what online can add to the branding cycle. This study will definitely make our planning process for some clients smoother, allowing us to move our focus from debating the role of online in an overall campaign towards confidently speaking about how online can positively impact on important metrics such as consideration and purchase intent. At the end of the day clients just want their media to deliver sales and we can now show that online can do that for them,” said Ms Field.

Fairfax Digital, NewsDigital Media, ninemsn, MediaSmart and Yahoo!7 each provided equal online inventory for this study to a value that would be considered average for an online brand building campaign. Ads were booked with a mix of contextual placement and general ROS and inventory, in standard IAB ad formats included medium rectangles, leader board, streaming video both as pre-roll ads to online video content and streaming video from medium rectangle ad placements, skyscrapers and half page formats. Microsoft Advertising provided the ad serving.

The research report presentation is available online at www.iabaustralia.com.au, along with details of the research methodology.

About the Interactive Advertising Bureau
IAB Australia officially launched in October 2005 with Australia’s major online publishers -Fairfax Digital, Google, News Digital Media, ninemsn, Sensis, and Yahoo!7 - together with the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA) as its founding members. The IAB now has 40 member companies, drawn from a broad spectrum of online advertising and marketing organizations, technology and services companies.

For further information about IAB Australia please visit: www.iabaustralia.com.au 

For more editorial information please contact:
Pru Quinlan
Einsteinz Communications
T: (02) 8905 0995
E: pru@einsteinz.com.au

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