Online Display Advertising: Targeting and Obtrusiveness

Posted: 5 May 2010

See all articles by Avi Goldfarb

Avi Goldfarb

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management

Catherine E. Tucker

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Management Science (MS)

Date Written: May 4, 2010

Abstract

We use data from a large-scale field experiment to explore what influences the effectiveness of online advertising. We find that matching an ad to website content and increasing an ad’s obtrusiveness independently increase purchase intent. However, in combination these two strategies are ineffective. Ads that match both website content and are obtrusive do worse at increasing purchase intent than ads that do only one or the other. This failure appears to be related to privacy concerns: The negative effect of combining targeting with obtrusiveness is strongest for people who refuse to give their income, and for categories where privacy matters most. Our results suggest a possible explanation for the growing bifurcation in internet advertising between highly targeted plain text ads and more visually striking but less targeted ads.

Keywords: E-commerce, Privacy, Advertising, Targeting

Suggested Citation

Goldfarb, Avi and Tucker, Catherine E., Online Display Advertising: Targeting and Obtrusiveness (May 4, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1600288

Avi Goldfarb

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 M5S1S4
Canada
416-946-8604 (Phone)
416-978-5433 (Fax)

Catherine E. Tucker (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Management Science (MS) ( email )

100 Main St
E62-536
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

HOME PAGE: http://cetucker.scripts.mit.edu

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