Research carried out by Adobe suggests that people are much more likely to buy a product if they see a digital advertisement for it rather than a 'static' ad.

This is good news for publishers and advertisers looking to utilise platforms such as Apple's iPad to reach mass audiences.

The key difference between digital and static ads is that interactive features can more easily be included in a digital format. According to Dave Dickson of Adobe, "advertising in digital magazines can more effectively engage readers and create stronger purchase intention than similar static ads in print".

The study, titled Digital Ad Engagement: Perceived Interactivity as a Driver of Advertising Effectiveness (PDF) and carried out by Alex Wang, Ph.D. of the University of Connecticut – Stamford, concluded that "interactive ads tend to generate stronger engagement, message involvement, and attitude toward the advertisements than static ads in general".

Participants aged 18 to 32 were shown print or iPad versions of advertisements featured in a past issue of a digital magazine. The participants were then observed and questioned regarding the level of interaction with the advert, engagement, message involvement, attitude and purchase intention.

One of the most important advantages that digital adverts have, according to the study, is the increased posibilities of interaction. Motion graphics, sound, slideshows and animation all helped to engage readers and create favourable attitudes towards their brands.

According to Adobe, there is a direct correlation between engagement and purchase intention. "Because users are immersed in the digital magazine experience, they view the ad much in the same manner they would if they were flipping through the print pages of a magazine; the ad essentially becomes part of the content itself. Contrast this with current digital advertising inventory—undifferentiated ad space that increasingly interrupts the reading experience," said Dickson.