New Research: The IAB Rising Stars – Perceptions and Buying Intentions

| Creative + Insights + Media

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) unveiled the Rising Stars as the next big thing in high impact advertising in February 2011. But how many agencies, marketers and publishers are aware of the six units (Billboard, Filmstrip, Portrait, Pushdown, Sidekick, and Slider) and how often are they actually making it onto media plans?
Undertone has been selling all six Rising Stars since the beginning of 2012. In selling the units, we’ve come across widespread gaps in awareness levels and some consistent pain points being raised by both advertisers and publishers. To help shine a light on these issues and reveal the buy and sell-side perceptions of the Rising Stars, we decided to conduct a survey of marketers, agencies, and publishers.
Here are some of the key findings:
AWARENESS GAP:There is a significant gap in awareness of the Rising Stars between agencies and marketers, highlighting the need for broader market education. Less than a third (31%) of marketers have heard of the Rising Stars, compared to over two thirds (69%) of agency respondents.
WIDESPREAD OPTIMISM FOR 2013: Despite the limited awareness levels amongst marketers, there is widespread optimism surrounding adoption of the Rising Stars in 2013 across both agencies and publishers. Almost three quarters (73%) of agency respondents familiar with the Rising Stars stated they were either very or somewhat likely to buy Rising Stars in 2013. This positive sentiment was echoed on the sell-side with 79% of publisher respondents stating that they expected demand for the Rising Stars to increase in 2013.
STARS DRIVE RESULTS: Just 2% of agency respondents who ran Rising Stars campaigns in 2012 plan to decrease their spending on the units in 2013, suggesting that they have seen strong performance from the units they’ve included on digital plans.
BARRIERS TO ENTRY: Cost, production difficulties and production limitations are the key reasons for agencies not deploying Rising Stars. Over half (52%) of agencies controlling media budgets over $10 million cited distribution limitations as their key barrier to entry. For agencies controlling smaller media budgets, pricing emerged as a more significant issue, with 49% citing cost as their main barrier to entry. These findings highlight that deeper support and leadership is needed from vendors to help drive broader adoption.
PERFORMANCE AND QUALITY ARE KEY: Favored distribution partners for the Rising Stars are publishers and ad networks/aggregators. The key selection criteria agencies focus on when considering distribution partners are performance and the quality of media environments.
For a complete look at the research findings and methodology, please download our white paper at

Shawn is responsible for conceptualizing and implementing first party research to support Undertone’s display, high impact and video advertising products in response to market needs. Additionally, he oversees advertising effectiveness research for top clients as well as pre-planning consumer insights. Shawn holds a Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences from Albany Medical College and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from The State University of New York at Albany.


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