The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) has launched a cross-media research initiative to test the effectiveness of brand advertising online.
The research, which is being conducted with agency Carat Insight, is focused on car advertising, one of the largest sectors online.
“We know online is number one when it comes to direct response but there is a question mark over its brand building abilities,” says a spokesman for the IAB. “This research is another tool to convince advertisers about online’s effectiveness.”
The brand engagement study will compare the effectiveness of online against other media, including TV, outdoor, PR and word of mouth. It will involve 1,000 internet users around the UK, using focus groups and online questionnaires. The research will concentrate on the supermini car sector, which includes models like the Renault Clio and Ford Fiesta.
Full results will be released at the IAB’s Engage 2006 conference in November. However, early results have found that the internet is the most popular source of car reviews and for price and feature comparison. Almost 41% of those surveyed also used the internet to research car insurance.