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Eye-Tracking Study: Native Ads Outperform Banner Ads [Infographic]

by Ayaz Nanji  |  
May 8, 2013

Consumers visually engage with native ads 52% more frequently than with traditional banner ads, according to a new study from Sharethrough and the IPG Media Lab.

The study, titled Benchmarking the Effectiveness of Native Ads, used surveys and eye-tracking technology to measure ad impact for major brands.

Among the key findings of the study, which reports the results of both a survey and an eye-tracking study:

  • Native ads registered an 18% higher lift for purchase intent, and 9% higher lift for brand affinity, than banner ads. 
  • Consumers looked at in-feed native ad placements 25% more than banner ad units.
  • 32% of respondents said a native ad "is an ad I would share with a friend or family member" versus just 19% for banner ads.
  • 71% of consumers viewing native ads who had previously bought a product from an advertiser said the brand was one they "personally identify with," compared with just 50% for banner ads. 


 Also, consumers viewed native ad units and original editorial content nearly identically. In fact, a slightly higher percentage of people tracked looked at native ads (26%) versus editorial content (24%).


For more, check out the following infographic: 

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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by Kirsten Nelson Thu May 9, 2013 via web

    Makes a lot of sense that Native ads are so much more effective than banner ads (I'll admit I had to look up what native ads are...haven't come across the term before today. This was a pretty good infographic explaining it

    Native ads aren't a slap to the face when a user is searching for a solution. It's not changing their user behavior. It's not interrupting their experience on site. It gently leads them to the answer they are seeking. Thanks for pulling these stats together. Very interesting.

  • by Tobias Schremmer Sun May 12, 2013 via web

    Ayaz, would you say that 3rd party banner ads that are topically-relevant to an article would fall under the 'native ads' definition? Their offer may be interruptive but at least it (usually) is directly in harmony with the area of interest of the reader at that moment. If part of the definition is "relevant AND garnering significant click rates" then based on my experience (I'm in ad sales for MarketingProfs) I'd say they are. Curious your take on this tactic relative to the other more commonly accepted forms of native advertising. Thanks for the article!

  • by Polly Payne Mon Jul 29, 2013 via web

    Interesting study Ayaz! The Native Advertising industry has grown and developed a great deal this year. TripleLift has published a new infographic that maps out the main players in the Native Advertising and how they fit into the industry.

    Check it out here:

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