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Adobe survey finds readers ‘engaged’ with ads on Apple’s iPad

Adobe on Monday released the results of a new survey which found that advertisements in digital magazines on devices like the iPad can “more effectively engage readers and create stronger purchase intention” than in print.

Dave Dickson revealed the results of the survey in an official post on the Adobe Digital Publishing blog/ The research paper, entitled “Digital Ad Engagement: Perceived Interactivity as a Driver of Advertising Effectiveness,” was conducted by Alex Wang, Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut.

The test studied readers between ages 18 and 32, and had them view print and iPad versions of advertisements featured in a past issue of a digital magazine. Participants were asked to rank their perceived interactivity, engagement, message involvement, attitude toward the adds, and purchase intent.

“The result is a new brand advertising paradigm where advertisers can engage customers with a brand in the immersive context of a digital magazine — in contrast to the interruptive, templatized, and commoditized nature of current digital display ad inventory,” Dickson wrote.

Participants ranked ads in each category from a score of one to nine. Interactive ads on the iPad carried a purchase intent significantly higher than their static counterparts, as the interactive ads earned a score of 3.98, compared to just 2.50 for print.

“The study also found clear statistical connections among the five measured categories in the experiment,” he wrote. “By using interactivity such as motion graphics, sound, slideshows and animation, advertisers can engage readers and create favorable attitudes toward their brands.

“Once engaged, readers are then more likely to interact with the ad, resulting in a higher probability that they will purchase the product or service being promoted.”

While the advertisements might be more effective, details of magazine purchases in late December indicated that they have significantly declined since many of them debuted earlier in 2010. For example, Wired — a magazine powered by Adobe — launched in May and sold more than 100,000 copies, but the more recent issues had much lower sales of 22,000 and 23,000 in October and November, respectively.

Publishers are said to be anxiously awaiting the ability to offer recurring subscriptions on the App Store for iPad versions of their magazines. Currently, publishers must make due with a pay-per-issue approach, something they believe has hurt sales.

Like Adobe, Apple has bet in the interactive advertising market potential on the iPad with its own mobile advertising network dubbed iAds. The iAd network on the iPad launched in late 2010 with just one advertisement, but is expected to significantly expand in 2011.

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