Inferno: A Guide to Field Experiments in Online Display Advertising
43 Pages Posted: 15 May 2020 Last revised: 20 Jul 2021
Date Written: July 19, 2021
Online display advertising is a hostile medium for field experiments. Display ad effects are tiny and necessitate large-scale experiments. The experimenter has limited control because ad exposure is jointly determined by advertisers, users, algorithms, and market competition. As such, online display ads provide useful lessons for experimenters at the frontier of digital research more generally. Display-ad experiments place renewed focus on old topics like statistical power and compliance as well as on new issues like identity fragmentation and market spillovers. In this guide, we review these challenges, best practices, and new developments.
Keywords: field experiments, advertising effectiveness, digital advertising
JEL Classification: C93, M37
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation