Thursday, 25 April 2013

'You're more likely to survive a plane crash than to click on a banner ad'

I've added this one as an example of a stat that is clearly not true, but that gets quoted a lot.  (Another one is 'more people have a mobile phone than a toothbrush', but that's another story).  This stat has been doing the rounds since about 2011,and was recently repeated by Digiday, who should know better, but is hard to trace back to it's original maths or logic.

Solve Media first published the stat in a deck with a number similar stats, but with no sources given.  Solve Media place ads in CAPTCHAs and so have a vested interest in saying that other ad formats don't work.  You can argue that I have a vested interest in saying that banners do work, but more than that I'm just irritated by the lack of sources or explanation, and the deliberately meaningless comparison.

"How annoying are banner ads? You know, those ubiquitous advertisements that drop down in your face when you open most news sites? The worst are the ones that expand when you scroll over them, forcing you to click on them no matter how hard to try to avoid it. If you hate banner ads as much as we do, you are not alone: most people do not click on them. Solve Media, an advertising consulting company, has discovered how much more likely you are to do even the most statistically unlikely of things than click on one of these intrusive advertisements, Business Insider reports. For example, "you are 31.25 times more likely to win a prize in the Mega Millions than you are to click on a banner ad." Not only that, "you are 87.8 times more likely to apply to Harvard and get in...112.50 times more likely to sign up for and complete NAVY SEAL training...279.64 times more likely to climb Mount Everest...and 475.28 times more likely to survive a plane crash than you are to click on a banner ad." It's unclear how they figured this out, or if the methodology is all that sound, but we're going to hazard a guess that people hate banner ads enough to enjoy the numbers anyway."

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