Report: Kids Click Web Ads Most

Children up to age 11 click on Web ads more than any other age group, while teens rarely click the ads, Nielsen//NetRatings said Tuesday.

The findings came from the new Internet Advertising Strategies service, launched Tuesday by NetRatings Inc. (Nasdaq: NTRT), Nielsen Media Research and ACNielsen to gauge Net advertising usage, audience behavior and trends.

Kids ages 2 to 11 averaged an ad click rate of 0.87 percent in June, compared with 0.45 percent for the overall Net audience, NetRatings said. Trident Gum’s “Adventures of Supertooth” game drew the most clicks: a total audience of 164,748 unique viewers from 9.76 percent of total views.

Ads from Nintendo, and Nestle Ice Cream’s “Stamps and Stomps” game campaign placed in the Top 10. So, too, did three entries from the Cartoon Network: “Powerpuff Girls,” “Scooby Doo” and “Sailor Moon.”

‘Break Out of the Clutter’

Leveraging strong offline brand loyalty with interactive elements online appears particularly effective in reaching kids, according to Kate Maddox, director of Internet advertising strategies at NetRatings. However, though the click rate is higher for younger kids, it continues to decline.

“The challenge will be to keep reaching this short-attention-span audience with new and creative advertising to break out of the clutter,” Maddox said. “Advertisers will have to know what’s working and what’s not when it comes to reaching this segment.”

Net advertisers face an even bigger challenge in reaching other children, the new research suggests. The teen audience click rate fell well below that of other age groups, NetRatings reported, with the average click rate for 12 to 17 year-olds at 0.19 percent in June. The click rate for those 18 to 20 came in at just 0.11 percent.

Reaching the Teen Audience

“It’s no secret disaffected teens are a tough audience for marketers to crack,” Maddox said. “Jaded by advertising, they’ve historically clicked at a lower rate than the average Internet audience.”

Teens did click much more often on ads highly targeted to their interest. Eastpak, which featured an online contest for a free backpack stuffed with prizes, drew a click rate of over 20 percent. “Potfacts,” a campaign by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and, also hit home with the teen audience.

“The message to marketers is: you can still reach teens, even if they’re harder to attract, by creating campaigns that meet their specialized needs,” Maddox said. “The more interactive, and the more highly targeted to their interests, the better.”

Ratings Aim to Fill Void

As Web advertising grows more and more competitive, Nielsen//NetRatings aims to offer detailed demographics used to help plan, execute and measure online ad campaigns and strategies.

“The new service,” Maddox said, “fills the market’s need for strategic, online advertising analysis, combining critical data with key insight.”

Nielsen//NetRatings collects data from more than 65,000 panel members in the United States. The U.S. panel sample consists of 57,000 at-home users and 8,000 at-work users.

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