The Undetermined Value of Rich Media

Rich Media was brought into the ad industry over 1o years ago by EyeBlaster and Unicast. While the flashy, tech-savvy ads seem to be a  no brainer for advertisers to implement in their marketing campaigns, the effectiveness of the ads is still unclear due to a lack of industry standards. The numbers of those who do expand or actually click-through have not been  increasing.  Expansion rates have gone down in 2010, with a 4.08% expansion rate in January 2009, to 1.32% in October 2010.

Companies are investing significant portions of their budgets in an industry with uncertain and often indefinable ROI. Unlike impressions and clicks, there are no standard IAB definitions for rich-media metrics.  The interactivity rate for a PointRoll creative can be different from the same rate on a DoubleClick creative, even if all variables are the same.   

Little research has been done to prove that these expensive, highly customized ads are actually more effective than flash creatives. Advertisers seem to be glamoured by the sexiness of rich media without understanding how the standard measure of success is determined.

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