On the ad side

According to marketing services provider DoubleClick, during the third quarter of 2004 the average click-through rate for rich media was 1.17%, more than four times higher than the 0.20% rate for non-rich media.

Little wonder, then, that while research aggregator eMarketer expects overall online ad spending to grow 21% this year, to $11.5 billion, it projects that rich media ad expenditures will increase more than 35%.

But so far, according to Scott Ferber, CEO of marketing services provider Advertising.com, most marketers view rich media advertising as a branding rather than a selling tool. “Movement conveys ‘essence,’” Ferber said in an eMarketer white paper, “Rich Media: At the Tripping Point,” “so [rich-media animation] helps branding.” Nonetheless, he added, “the ability to capture information in an interactive environment is an incredible tool for direct response.”

Indeed, according to DoubleClick, conversion rates for people who clicked through on a rich media ad averaged 2.30%, compared with 1.47% for static ads.