Online Media's Ad Share Increases to 3.3%

Internet Retail Sales Also Grow Significantly

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BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. (AdAge.com) -- Online media increased its share of advertising dollars in 2003, according to research released yesterday at the iMedia Brand Summit.

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Ad share
Online media's share of advertising grew modestly to 3.3% in 2003, up from 3.1% in 2002, said Charlie Buchwalter, senior analyst with VNU's Nielsen/NetRatings. Online retail grew faster -- from 2.5% of all retail commerce in 2002 to 3.2% in 2003.

Based on research pairing Nielsen/NetRatings with sibling ACNielsen Corp.'s HomeScan consumer panel, Mr. Buchwalter reported apparently strong offline sales results for last fall and winter's online "Hungriest Player" promotion for Masterfoods USA's Snickers brand.

Of panelists who visited Snickers.com to participate in the promotion, 52% purchased Snickers bars at offline retailers during the promotion period last fall and winter, Mr. Buchwalter said. Snickers.com visitors were twice as likely to buy Snickers as Web surfers who hadn't visited the site.

TV-Internet integration
Johnson & Johnson found success with a very different sort of online-offline integration last June involving an interactive His & Her Body quiz during The View on Walt Disney Co.'s ABC, said Dave Adelman, director-media futures innovation for J&J. Success of the program, in which viewers answered quiz questions on ABC.com or their wireless phones, has led J&J to plan two more such interactive TV programs in 2004, he said.

A day-after survey of 1,000 passive viewers of the show and 1,000 who participated in the quiz showed interactive participants watched 54 minutes of the program, compared to 43 minutes on average for passive viewers. But both sets of viewers said they skipped ads less by channel surfing or other means during the program than they normally do because of the quiz, with 29% of active viewers saying they skipped ads less and 80% of the interactive participants saying they skipped ads less.

Making ads 'work harder'
"The Internet can make your ads work harder," Mr. Adelman said.

The cross-platform deal was negotiated with ABC during the upfront, he said. Previous attempts to do such an interactive program with The View when it was run by ABC's news division two years ago met with resistance "because of church-state issues," he said, adding that the shift of the program to the entertainment division paved the way.

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