Study: Interactive video ads boost viewing time 47%


  • Interactive video ads drive a 47% gain in time spent with a marketing message compared to a non-interactive ad, according to a study from Magna, a media strategy group of ad giant IPG Media Lab. Brands triple their time spent with consumers from 15-second interactive ads when consumers interact with it, according to a press release made available to Mobile Marketer.
  • Even if viewers don’t click on an online video, the sheer option to interact makes the ad 32% more memorable than non-interactive ads, the study found, driving 9x higher impact on purchase intent. These figures are consistent among gender, age and within industry verticals.
  • Amazon, Arby’s and MillerCoors participated in the study, which measured the effect of interactive video ads across devices like tablets, PC and mobile.


Magna’s research shows the power of interactive video ads, a technology that has been touted since the 1990s with mixed success. The proliferation of mobile devices, which put massive computing power into the hands of most adults in the U.S., makes interactive ads more feasible than ever. Consumers often treat their mobile devices as an intimate part of their lives as the digital world becomes less of a proxy for the real world and “becomes the ‘real world’ itself,” per the release, reinforcing the importance of interactive videos’ role in communication between brands and consumers.

Interactive video ad engagement is associated with purchase intent that’s 9x higher than passively viewing a video ad, giving brands an early indication of the effectiveness of a marketing message. They’re more cost efficient, with investment going 52% further when the impact on persuasion of interactive ads is accounted for, versus ads without interactive features. Entertainment-focused interaction such as a video game or playable ad extends the time consumers spend with a branded message by 15% and improves the brand’s KPIs.

In addition to entertainment, Magna recommends using human-focused interactions such as with a celebrity or key character in the ad instead of touting the product itself. Brand marketers have long recognized the power of TV to make products feel more authentic to viewers, and that capability is shifting to mobile devices.

One difficulty in marketing on digital platforms is getting users to interact with ads despite their short attention spans. Mobile games, however, can have high engagement and return rates as users get hooked on a fun activity with the interactive content.

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