4eyeIn today's media landscape, marketers must focus on presenting brands in such a powerful way that they stand out from the flood of advertising messages. Especially since the huge variety of digital media led to an attention economy that exacerbated with the fact that many consumers have started to completely ignore marketing campaigns at all.

Untertone, a provider of display and high-impact ad formats, affirms that the Web is indeed a crowded place and consumers have developed a grim capacity to ignore marketing appeals – particularly in the digital space – making it almost impossible to remember any digital ad seen recently.


The company is passionately focused on its mission to make digital media, in all its current and emerging forms, work for brands, by providing breakthrough videos, high impact and display ad units which they run on the world’s best websites and across PCs, smartphones and tablets.

Since video advertising has become an established part of the online video viewing experience, Undertone partnered with IPG Media Lab to examine how four elements of video advertising affect consumers’ feelings towards a brand, and whether they inspire or discourage action. Their research focused on consumer engagement mode (click-to-play vs. auto-play), video player size, video player location on the page, and website quality

The results of the study revealed that the playback method of video ads is the most important factor for the performance of online video advertising (53%), followed by the size of the video player (36%), its placement (7%) and the website quality (4%).

The aim was to find out how the mentioned four factors act on the perception of advertising and ad awareness respectively, as well as the readiness for action (intent) affects the users. The reactions were identified by eye-tracking, facial expression recognition and surveys.

Auto-Play vs. Click-to-Play

In the playback method, two alternatives were tested against each other: Click-to-play, if the user needs to start video advertising by himself with a click, and auto-play, which means automatic playing.

Although auto-play ads create a higher attention (20%) than click-to-play ads (8%), they evoke more negative reactions in users, which can be mitigated, however, by using a larger video player. In contrast, click-to-play ads are perceived four times more positive.

The eye-tracking analysis also revealed that users look at the click-to-play video advertising more concentrated and are not easily distracted by other elements on the page.

Larger video players have a positive impact

The size of the video player not only influences the perception of the advertising, but is the second most important quality factor for a user’s willingness for activities (33%), too.

The study tested with participants the pixel sizes 300 x 250, 400 x 300 and 640 x 480 against each other, unveiling that larger players also have a positive effect on the overall performance of the website, which in turn rubs off on the brand advertised in the video ad.

Well, Undertone’s mission and technology is clearly focused on bringing digital media together in all its current and future forms. The company’s very own technology enables planning, execution and optimization of campaigns seamlessly and in real-time across screens and formats. Quite obviously their integrated approach is more than needed in today’s fragmented digital landscape, since it seems to be the most effective way for brands to build equity and drive action – or in Untertone’s words - Standout Brand Experiences.

For more information on the study’s findings, as well as details on the experimental design and methodology used in this media trial, please download the whitepaper "Understanding the Drivers of Standout Video Experiences".

By Daniela La Marca