The introduction of the new IAB Rising Stars (RS) – Billboard, Filmstrip, Portrait, Pushdown, Sidekick and Slider – in 2011 ushered in a new era in standard, brand-building display units. The larger, interactive palettes are an ideal vehicle for digital brand advertising at scale.
On the occasion of their two-year anniversary, Undertone surveyed its clients – brands and agencies – as well as publisher partners on key questions reltaed to awareness, sentiment, challenges and metrics. Our goal was to both gain a better understanding as well as create some actionable next steps for the industry to drive adoption of RS.
RS have high awareness with agencies: Over two thirds (69%) of agency respondents were aware of RS compared with 31% on the brand side.
Agency optimism is high: And of those agencies that were familiar with RS, 73% stated that they were either somewhat or very likely to use them again in 2013.
RS drive results: only 2% of agency respondents who ran RS campaigns in 2012 plan to decrease spend on the units in 2013. And performance was the highest ranked evaluation criteria for both brands and agencies.
There are common barriers to entry: for agencies with larger budgets ($10 million and above), concerns over distribution were the key barrier to entry. For agencies with smaller budgets, cost was a factor. For publishers, site design issues and concerns over demand were key issues.
Pushdown and Billboard are the stars amongst Stars: Pushdown was far and away the most adopted format by agencies, brands and publishers in 2012. Billboard was second.
What does this mean?
While RS are off to a great start, there are two clear takeaways for all of us in the industry who believe in their ability to drive value for brands:
Focus on education: publishers, vendors and agencies should spend time educating brands on RS and their value. In addition, more work should be done to understand which units are appropriate for different campaign goals.
Eliminate the gaps: there is a catch-22 situation happening with RS on the buy- and sell-side. Larger agencies are concerned about their ability to gain distribution, while publishers are concerned about lack of demand (and thus hesitant to do the needed website development to accept RS). More prevalence in agency RFPs could give the sell-side the confidence they need.
At the 2013 IAB Annual Leadership Meeting, Randall Rothenberg asked all in attendance to commit to supporting digital brand advertising. IAB Rising Stars are a fantastic place to start. For the full IAB Rising Stars Study, please go tohttp://www.undertone.com/risingstars/.