of The Fourth Source highlights these findings from Adform’s Quarterly Media Barometer: rich media ads are 3X more effective than standard formats.

What Are Rich Media Ads Anyway? 

Text ads consist entirely of text.

Standard display ads add a visual element such as a logo or graphic that can be static or animated with tools like Flash, and typically have only one interaction, meaning that when you click on them, you’ll be taken to a destination site.

Rich media ads can expand when users click or roll over, and can have extensive possibilities for interactive content, such as HD video or even the ability to click to make a phone call.

They’re More Complex and Costly
But making a rich media ad possible requires much more complex technology to ensure that all of the ad behaviors function properly, that all of the interactions can be measured, and to serve the ads onto web pages. Every piece of the canvas, from the video play button to the button that allows for expansion, requires coding in Flash that’s made possible by a rich media technology provider. With all of this complexity, there’s also a lot of room for error. So in addition to enabling the development of the ads, you need quality analysis and preview functionalities to make sure that the ads work the way they should.
Is Rich Media Worth the Investment?Display advertising spend continues to increase, driven by bigger, more interactive and richer ads. Adform’s Quarterly Media Barometer – which measures consumer trends and engagement with online display advertising – shows as of September, 2012, that audiences are becoming desensitized to standard display advertising:

  • Consumers are spending 74% more time engaging with rich media ads than they did in the previous quarter.
  • There is a 6% increase in online video advertising playtime.

This means that audiences are three times more likely to click on a rich media ad than a traditional banner format. Interactive banners, which enable integration to different channels including Twitter feeds, retailers’ catalogues and YouTube videos are paving the way forward for online display.

The increase in online video advertising playtime also confirms that consumers are demanding a far more stimulating online experience than a standard static banner ad can deliver.