The Online Publishers Association (OPA) recently published the results of the fourth wave of its ongoing study, “Improving Ad Performance Online”. The most recent report is available for download, but before you go grab a copy, read this MediaWeek writeup.
In it, the OPA claims that “ad networks demonstrated little impact when it comes to driving traditional branding metrics”, while scores for content-driven OPA member sites were consistently higher.
The qualifier: “albeit marginally”.
We’re talking about single-digit increases in responses to questions to divine brand favorability, purchase intent and message association. As Mediaweek points out, “Ad networks scores were generally within less than a single percentage point.”
Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think this means what the OPA thinks it means. The lesson learned might be that the web doesn’t help much when it comes to branding messages.