Automakers Biggest Users of Online Rich Media Ads

Ford Motor Co. Leads the Pack

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Automotive marketers have become the leading users of rich media advertising technologies on the World Wide Web, according to an analysis by Nielsen/NetRatings AdRelevance, an Internet audience measurement service.

Online ads for the Ford Expedition used the highest level of rich media features.
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10 times more
During the second quarter of this year online automotive advertisers used 10 times more rich media applications than other marketers, with rich media making up 37.4% of all online auto ads, according to the study. The average use of rich media in other marketer categories was 3.9%.

The automotive category, which includes carmakers, online auto sellers, such as Carpoint and AutoTrader.com, and online dealerships, used rich media advertising formats more than any of the 12 categories surveyed.

Other categories
The other categories were business-to-business, consumer package goods, entertainment, financial services, hardware and electronics, health, public services, retail goods and services, software, telecom, travel and Web media (publishers and content properties).

Of all automotive marketers, Ford Motor Co. used the most rich media ads, and its Expedition sport utility vehicle was the subject of more rich media advertising than any other automotive product during the quarter.

Hollywood's low use
Surprisingly, the entertainment category -- the TV and Hollywood interests that were viewed by many as the most likely to use the graphic capabilities of rich media -- included rich media formats in only 9% of its online ads, the findings said.

The lowest use of rich media was seen throughout the online ads of retail and financial categories.

The most commonly used rich media format used in automotive ads was generic Flash, which was included in 84% of the ads. Another 14% of the auto ads used Eyeblaster, and the remaining 2% utilized other technologies such as Shoshkele, Unicast or Bluestreak.

'Flying' animations
"Rich media" refers to the use of generic and proprietary technologies that support the creation and display of browser visual effects including instantly playing video and audio; complex animations; flying or floating animations that can hover over an existing Web page; structures that have a three-dimensional gamelike essence; and other dramatic features with high visual appeal.

Most rich-media effects are best viewed on broadband connections and many require the download and continual upgrading of special plug-in software.

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