I read an interesting eMarketer article today about how full-color ads on the iPad seem to boost purchase intent (as in, give up some money) compared to print ads. The study, done by Alex Wang, PhD of the University of Connecticut, was sponsored by Adobe.
Participants were shown a print or iPad version of an ad in the May 2010 issue of Wired and then responded to questions about the ads they had seen. The participants read five articles and saw seven ads from the issue.
Bottom line: people who viewed the interactive version of the ad were more engaged and reported being more interested in buying the product than people who viewed the static version of the ad.
The executive summary characterizes the participants as younger people interested in, and familiar with, technology: "The study sample included males and females with various ethnic backgrounds. There were 29 male participants (45%) and 36 female participants (55%) with an average age of 22 years. Among the participants, 72% of them made less than $25,000, whereas 14% of them made more than $50,000. In terms of education, 76% of them had at least some college education. In terms of ethnicity, 45% of them were Caucasian, whereas 26% of them were Hispanic. While 14% of them were African American, 5% of them were Asian."
Overall, the interactive version got much higher marks than the static version. Not surprising, since we know interactivity and novelty boosts attention. What would be more convincing to me, as a publisher, would be the results of this type of research over time. In other words, once the novelty of the device (which many of these participants probably cannot afford to buy) wears off, does the difference between the two platforms (iPad and paper) even out or even flip the other way? I am pretty sure it would. Nice to have this info for now, though.
You can read the executive summary of the report and findings by clicking here.