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OPA study released: “The Silent Click: Building Brands Online”

The Online Publishers Association (OPA) has unveiled research pointing to the branding effectiveness of display ad campaigns online.

The study, conducted by comScore, assessed 80 of the biggest branding campaigns across 200 of the most trafficked US branded content sites over a month, analysing the consumer behaviour of those who were exposed to those campaigns.

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“The Silent Click” measured three consumer actions:

  1. Searches conducted related to the advertisers’ brands
  2. The level of traffic driven to advertisers’ site by campaigns
  3. Consumer spending - the e-commerce transactions driven by advertisers’ display branding campaigns


For consumers exposed to brand display ad campaigns, the research found that:

  • One in five conduct related searches and one in three visit the brands’ sites
  • Users spent over 50% more time than the average visitor to these sites and consumed more pages
  • Users spent about 10% more money online overall, and significantly more on product categories related to the advertised brands
  • Higher income audiences visited the advertisers sites

OPA President Pam Horan commented: “Marketers recognise that consumers are spending nearly 40% of their media time online, making it an ideal place to deliver their brand messages."

"To date, measuring a brand campaign meant relying on the click, a metric more appropriate for direct response advertising. In order to understand the value of the audiences that display advertising attracts, our study helps marketers think about real behavioural measures designed to move the needle,”

To understand if the environment that the advertising appears in has an impact on its effectiveness and more importantly the characteristics of the audiences that the different environments attract, comScore analysed some of the most popular consumer content categories (e.g., business, entertainment, news and sports) with a particular focus on advertising among high quality content sites, as represented by OPA members.

The research found that OPA members reach higher income audiences who are more likely to visit advertisers’ web sites, where they spent significantly more money on related products and services. The results continue to reinforce why ad environment matters and how the brand halo effect is furthered among high quality trusted content sites.

Key findings include:

  • OPA Business News Sites: E-commerce spending by those visitors exposed to ads on OPA business news sites was 21% higher (a total of $334) than those exposed on the top 50 business sites
  • OPA News Sites: E-commerce spending by exposed visitors on OPA news sites was 15% higher (a total of $426) than those exposed on the top 50 news sites
  • OPA Sports Sites: E-commerce spending by those exposed to ads on OPA sports sites was 8% higher (a total of $241) than those exposed on the top 50 sports sites

Source: OPA Release

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