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Size matters: Large ads ‘boost brand awareness’

The new crop of large display ad formats, such as ‘Billboard’ and Wallpaper’ are outperforming standard banners such as MPUs, according to new research.


The research, from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) proves the effectiveness of new large display formats, highlights the effectiveness of new large display formats across 5 key brand metrics.

The ‘Size Matters’ study, delivered by research agency Millward Brown, aimed to analyse the effectiveness of the new, larger brand friendly display online ad formats.

The global research was based on 940 campaigns over a two year period across UK, USA, Europe, South America and Australasia and examined the performance of formats across five key brand metrics:

• Aided Brand Awareness
• Online Ad Awareness
• Message Association
• Brand Favourability
• Purchase Intent

A total of six formats were analysed, three new: (Billboard, Wallpaper and Half Page) and three already established formats, (Skyscraper, MPU and Banner).

The study consisted of responses from 910, 000 participants across 15 different countries. The results highlight the performance of the different ad formats against brand metrics by showing the average uplift achieved by exposure to each format.

• The Billboard (example shown above) outperformed other formats analysed. It offered three times better ad awareness levels and double the level of brand favourability uplift than the next best performing format (wallpaper).

• The Wallpaper format provided five times the level of message association and the highest level of brand awareness.

• The already existing Skyscraper outperformed other formats at the end of the purchase funnel, achieving an uplift of 1.4 percentage points for purchase intent.

The developments in online display advertising and the surge in growth in the discipline has been a primary focus for the IAB recently, resulting in the launch of our first ever Future Formats awards in February – showcasing new display formats being adopted by advertisers.

IAB’s director of research and strategy, Tim Elkington said, ‘“There’s a lot of excitement in the industry about new larger display formats and these important research findings show that this excitement is well placed. The new formats, in particular the Billboard and Wallpaper, deliver great results for advertisers against key brand metrics, especially at the start of the purchase funnel.”


Millward Brown analysed the uplifts in five key brand metrics generated by campaigns that used three new formats – the Billboard, Wallpaper and Half Page and three established formats – the MPU, Skyscraper and Banner – across 940 campaigns in 15 countries over a two year period. The data generated came from brand surveys completed by 910,000 respondents.

Jon Clarke commented:

Large is okay, but dynamic is even better. We've found with that making ads far more interactive gives the public a new experience they love engaging with. Digital media finally can use it's toolbox to produce better advertising and not at a huge price too. Large ads arrest the viewer, engaging ads leave a better feel. We've for years used full website popunders and although the close down rate is high the volume of people who click deeper into the website is far higher than the same money spent on normal display ads. Happy to share here.

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