IAB unveils Tablet Ad Format Study

IAB unveils Tablet Ad Format Study
IAB research says consumers are more than twice as likely to be engaged with tablet ads that are interactive. Tablet advertising creative not meeting consumers’ expectations.


Research released today by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) looks at consumer attitudes towards tablet advertising. The 1,000 respondent study was delivered by research agency Ipsos MediaCT, using Celtra’s rich media advertising platform and in partnership with automotive brand, Renault and their agency Publicis.

The research shows that the majority of tablet owners think that advertising on tablets can do things that other media can’t (55%), and they expect this unique functionality of tablets to be incorporated into the advertising they see. However, the advertising experience to date has not lived up to expectations for 30% of the sample, who had a negative overall opinion of ads they had seen on tablets in the past.

Tablet users are open to advertising

Almost two thirds of respondents would prefer tablet applications to have lower upfront costs with more ads, than higher upfront costs with fewer ads. Indicating that consumers are comfortable with the value exchange of ad funded content on tablets.

Interactive tablet formats drive positive association

Those who were exposed to tablet advertising that had an element of interactivity (such as video or gaming) responded to the advertising more positively than those exposed to a static ad. When comparing the static and interactive ads, more than three times as many respondents thought that the interactive ads were innovative. Also, the interactive ads were deemed to be ‘engaging’ and ‘memorable’ by around twice as many respondents.

The old rules of advertising still apply

Interactive formats on tablets were at times found to be as intrusive as static, so advertisers must still be sensitive to where and when the advertising appears. Context is as important as it has ever been, with 95% of respondents saying that it is important that it is unobtrusive and doesn’t interfere with what they are doing, and 82% said that the advert should be adapted to the content around it.

IAB’s Senior Mobile Manger, Alex Kozloff said: “There is a clear expectation from consumers for tablet advertising to match the high quality of the overall tablet experience. It is still early days for tablet advertising, but consumer expectations are already raised. However it is fantastic to see that the interactive rich media formats available today seem to be hitting the spot amongst respondents across a number of measures.” 

Renault’s, Manager, Digital Communications Matt Lamprell said: We were delighted to be involved with this trial. Digital media forms an important part of our overall communications strategy and tablets play an ever-increasing role within this. It's important for us to understand customer behaviour and expectations when using these devices, which in turn allows us to ensure our creative strikes the right chord.

Gavin Sugden, Research Director at Ipsos MediaCT said: “When the advertising format is right, and deemed to be engaging, we saw that respondents’ behaviour changed, as well as the dwell time increasing to double the time  (44 seconds versus 22 seconds)”


Quantitative: Ipsos recruited 1,000 tablet owners to undertake a survey on their tablet. The 1,000 respondents were split into 9 groups, and each asked to browse a mocked up newspaper page on their tablet. Each of the groups were exposed to a different type of ad format on this page (3/4 page, MPU and Leaderboard) which also had different levels of interactivity from static (no movement/interaction), dynamic (animated) to interactive (had video, game, 360 view or image gallery functionality). After browsing the page, the respondent was asked a 10 minute questionnaire about their experience with the tablet advertising.

Qualitative: Eight tablet owners were asked to blog online about their usage of tablets, and also to write and film themselves responding to tasks. They were asked to look at tablet advertising in the context of apps and sites, including in publications such as Wired, Vogue and Vanity Fair.