It’s clear: Interactive ad displays are more engaging than static equivalents

It’s clear: Interactive ad displays are more engaging than static equivalents
Liz Morrell is a freelance business journalist and content creator with more than 20 years writing experience, including 15 in retail and associated sectors. She is a regular contributor to MarketingTech but also covers a number of other industries in her freelance capacity. Contact her via LinkedIn or at


As consumers are bombarded with messages every moment of every day, we are going to sit up and take notice when something’s a little different from the norm. That’s the not-entirely-surprising conclusion drawn by new research which has found innovative display ad formats deliver more effective interactivity, emotional response and dwell time than standard digital display ads.

Yet the research does deliver some impressive statistics. The research was conducted by neuro research specialists Neuro-Insight using interactive technology FreeWall, from marketing tech specialists Rezonence.

The study used brain imaging technology to assess the neurological reactions of traditional MPU (mid-page unit) advertisements against the FreeWall format from Rezonence. The test used messages from a leading haircare brand and lottery provider. How long audiences spent with each ad, how well they were committed to memory and the emotional response of viewers were all measured. The results showed that memory encoding in the left hemisphere of the brain – which is associated with words and details and therefore crucial for branded messages – peaked at a level 29% higher for the interactive ad format than traditional MPUs and 41% higher for the haircare brand’s messaging.

Positive emotional response to the ads was also higher by 25% on the interactive ads – again with the haircare brand providing an even stronger response. Dwell time was also better for the interactive format with the haircare ad keeping the audience onscreen for nearly twice as long as its static equivalent and the lottery brand for 41% longer.

Heather Andrew, UK CEO of Neuro-Insight, said the findings showed the effectiveness of interactivity when it came to a users’ response to branded messages. “Importantly, the study also demonstrates a positive sentiment towards an interactive format over static ones. Any brand wanting to stand out needs to recognise this and factor it into their campaigns.”

Prash Naidu, founder and CEO at Rezonence, said the market was changing as brands and agencies look to greater engagement and interactivity. “The world is moving away from push and uni-directional marketing to a push-pull, conversational form,” he said.

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