Wednesday, September 10, 2003
New Online Sponsorship Research Demonstrates Six Point Branding Lift From “Exclusive” Sponsorship

New York, NY (September 10, 2003)Today, at its largest yearly event, the Interactive Advertising Bureau Advertisers Forum, new results were announced from the IAB/Volvo/Euro RSCG MVBMS Partners “Sponsorship Effectiveness Survey,” featuring Volvo Cars of North America. The study, conducted by Next Century Media Research, sought to understand the branding value of advertising sponsorship on the Internet as well as the difference between the value of “exclusive” sponsorship (when an ad is displayed exclusively on a site) as opposed to “shared” sponsorship (when there is more than one advertiser on a page.).

The study tested a sample group of 1,514, half of whom were exposed to sponsorship ads from Volvo. Overall, the research demonstrated that “exclusive” online sponsorship produces considerable lift as compared to a negligible lift from “shared” sponsorship. Specifically, “exclusive” sponsorship produced a 6.1 point lift in brand consideration among those consumers exposed to the sponsorship. This lies in stark contrast to the absence of any lift in brand consideration for those consumers exposed to the “shared” sponsorship ads.

“This study and 28 similar ones preceding it, clearly demonstrate that “exclusive” sponsorship on the Internet produces a substantial lift in brand consideration and purchase intent. Advertisers know that exclusivity is always preferable to shared real estate for online advertising and we can now add to this equation that there a considerable and meaningful ‘“gratitude effect”’ generated by sponsorship,” said Bill Harvey, founder of Next Century Media, and today Senior Vice President & General Manager of OpenTV Research.

“Volvo has an ongoing commitment to connecting with consumers where they live in today’s world. From creating the first automotive website in 1994 to the first digital launch of a car in 2000 (the Volvo S60 via America Online) to a variety of online initiatives like this one, we believe that interactive marketing continues to yield significant results,” said Phil Bienert, Manager of CRM and e-Business for Volvo Cars of North America LLC.

“We believe in sponsored content as a meaningful way to create ongoing dialog with consumers, said Charlie Tarzian, CEO, Euro RSCG Circle. “Through sponsorship, an advertiser can deliver relevant content at the right time, and be rewarded with consumer appreciation which results in increased branding metrics such as purchase intent and loyalty.”

The research methodology was based on the landmark “Sponsorship Effectiveness Index” (SEI) - developed in accordance with the new ARF Media Model. The SEI measures the effect of an advertiser's sponsorship of an Internet site. When SEI software has been installed at a web site, visitor samples are divided into test and control groups. These groups are then automatically queried to discover the differences between them related to their exposure to the sponsor's ads.

The study was developed by the IAB Sponsorship Committee, chaired by Andrew Susman, President and CEO, StudioOne Networks. Several leading online publishers donated inventory for the study, where the Volvo sponsorships ran against appropriate content. They include: CondeNet, Forbes.com, PRIMEDIA, Register.com, StudioOne Networks, Terra Lycos and Yahoo!.

About the IAB
Founded in 1996, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) represents the leading companies in the interactive space. Membership includes companies that are actively engaged in, and support the sale of interactive advertising in addition to being responsible for selling over 75% of online advertising in the United States. IAB members include AOL, CNET Networks, DoubleClick, MSN, Google, Overture, The Walt Disney Internet Group, Yahoo! and over 100 others. On behalf of its members, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices, fields interactive effectiveness research and educates the advertising industry regarding the use of interactive advertising. For more information on the IAB please visit www.iab.net.


Contact:

Emily Kutner – IAB
212-949-9030 x209
[email protected]

Greg Jones – Euro RSCG MVBMS Partners
212-886-4210
[email protected]