Where Viewability Is Right Now And Why Everyone Needs To Get Behind It

Where Viewability Is Right Now And Why Everyone Needs To Get Behind It
SHARE
THIS



Everyone’s thumb and forefinger are on warp speed, pushing content past consumers’ eyes faster and faster. Therefore it’s no wonder ads are often just blurs on a screen that don’t get seen, that advertisers pay for.

Viewability in digital advertising is a hot topic in Adland, particularly after GroupM’s announcement it was trading on viewability and IPG Mediabrands’ strive for 100 per cent viewability for clients.

There are a number of challenges in the market, and not everyone is on the same page. Here’s the low-down of where the issue sits currently.

What actually is it?

An ad that’s viewable – meaning it’s, in theory, being seen by a consumer – is to have an ad where at least half of it has been on a desktop screen for a minimum of one second. If it’s a video ad, that increases to two seconds. This definition has been determined by the MRC (Media Rating Council), the main point of call for accrediting media companies with the correct practices. However, there doesn’t appear to be an industry standard for mobile ads yet.

Where does mobile come into it?

While desktop and video ad viewability have been worked out, mobile isn’t there – yet. It’s tricky. In the US many brands want to make sure their ads are viewable, however there’s a limited number of tech vendors accredited by the MRC that are able to measure mobile ad viewability.

“But with mobile accounting for 50 per cent or more of traffic to some major websites, advertisers don’t want to wait for mobile viewabilty to get sorted out,” writes Mike Shields from The Wall Street Journal. “They want to run mobile ads now, and they only want to pay for ones that people have a chance to see.”

The Wall Street Journal last year referenced technology company Moat as being the first one accredited for mobile,.

The IAB in North America is only just starting to take a look at mobile now, said Alice Manners, CEO of the IAB in Australia, with the Aussie IAB focusing on desktop ads at the moment. Mobile viewability will be a future endeavour. However, GroupM announced yesterday it had partnered with Moat, with John Miskelly, chief digital officer, telling B&T it will trade on mobile viewability as well as desktop.

What does the industry think of viewability?

The push for viewability has mainly been driven by agencies and clients, said Rich Way, head of digital and data at media agency Carat. And it’s pushed publishers to adapt to the demand for being accountable in a digital world.

“The key thing for a lot of agencies however is how much value should we put on what is technically classed as viewable,” he said, referencing the current model of 50 per cent pixels for a minimum one second.

There’s no doubt viewability is high up on the priority list, however Stuart Bailey, chief digital officer at OMD, said it’s not the only thing people should think about when it comes to campaign objectives.

“For example, just because an ad is below the fold and has a lower viewability rate than something above the fold it doesn’t mean that it will necessarily perform worse from a core campaign KPI (key performance index) point of view,” he said.

“We need to optimise to viewable impressions but this needs to be in the context of our clients business and campaign objectives.”

Nevertheless, many agencies are starting to make headway into trading a client’s inventory on viewability, such as IPG Mediabrands’ intelligent and investment division Magna Global, and GroupM.

In early November 2015, Manga Global made the bold move of announcing its intention to get to 100 per cent viewability in trading for its clients. The initiative is called Project Quality, and is being spearheaded by Maria Grivas, head of digital for Manga Global.

At the time of launch, Grivas said: “We believe that the broader industry – agencies, exchanges, advertisers and publishers – need to actively strive towards 100 per cent viewable and fraud-free digital delivery. We are launching Project Quality to prompt more action across the industry.

“Whilst 100 per cent may be an ambitious goal today, it should not limit our ultimate goal,” she added. “By collaborating with publishers and exchanges we are aiming to maximise adoption and therefore campaign effectiveness. To that end, we have agreed to accept a publisher’s viewability measure provided it’s from an industry accredited third party and an IPG Mediabrands approved vendor.”

Similarly, GroupM has said there are certain key ad placements it can guarantee 100 per cent viewability. Read more about GroupM’s announcement here.

Mark Mansour, head of advertising at eBay Australia, said viewability has become a critical metric for brands and agencies that advertise with the company.

“The big change for us in the last few months has been the increase in agencies starting to build out their policies and reaching out to us in an effort to meet their viewability objectives,” he said.

“It falls to the publishers to maintain the integrity of the online advertising ecosystem by working closely with advertisers and maintaining the value of premium inventory through stringent measurement and products that meet higher viewability metrics.”

Not everyone gets it

While some seem to know the ins and outs of viewability, both Bailey and IAB’s Alice Manners said education in the industry is mixed.

“There is still work that needs to be done in this marketplace,” said Manners, “both from an education perspective and tackling some of the challenges that we have before we’re in a comfortable position to be able to trade on viewable impressions.

“It’s about getting people to understand it’s about the opportunity to see, it’s not about engagement or ad effectiveness,” she said. “Marketers and agencies need to be aware that just because an impression couldn’t be measured, it doesn’t mean that that was not a viewable ad, in the same way a non-measurable impression doesn’t equal a fraudulent impression.”

OMD’s Bailey added: “Like a lot of these subjects – ad blocking, ad fraud, brand safety etc – it can be blown out of proportion by sensationalist articles.”

Technology challenges

Aside from the education challenge, there are tech issues, too.  And a lot of that comes from the tech vendors themselves who verify the third-party viewable data to ensure it’s correct. The trouble with the vendors is they all measure slightly differently.

“Because they measure different,” explains Manners, “if a buyer and a seller is using a different tech vendor, they’re going to see different results.”

Yes, the MRC accredits vendors to have trustable data, but Manners said because it has accredited a large number of vendors the IAB further recommends a buyer and a seller agree on a vendor before the process gets underway to keep data consistent.

eBay’s Mansour said ultimately it will be the advertisers who decide on the tech they want to use and what will be meaningful for them.

“It’s important that the advertiser is open about their expectations and agrees with the publisher on using a measurement vendor accredited by the MRC,” he said. “We have our own partner for measuring viewability but we can be agnostic regarding the technology advertisers would like to use so long as we can share the data and optimise accordingly.”

Agency, publisher and advertiser. Who needs to push for viewability?

While it’s an industry-wide issue, who needs to be the first one to push for viewable ad trading?

“Publishers will start to trade on viewability as agencies and clients will apply the pressure on this,” said OMD’s Bailey. “From my conversations with publishers they understand this but they want to be taken on the journey to understand what technology and methodology will be used, how to test it, what the implications might be etc.”

IAB’s Manners believes it needs to come from everyone. It affects the industry as a whole, so the industry together to needs get on the same page. The joint venture sentiment is echoed by eBay’s Mansour, who added it needs to become a more widely accepted standard.

“At eBay we’re adopting viewability in multiple ways,” he explained. “We’re launching new ad units as ‘lazy loaded’ units so they only load once they’re in view and we’re looking into ways of charging for viewable impressions where we’ll be able to guarantee a level of viewability for our advertisers.”

However, Manners added the industry needed to look at the switch to trading on viewable ads from a value perspective.

A served impression, in theory, means the ad has loaded on the page. Whereas a viewable impression means at least half of the loaded ad has been seen. So a served impression would arguably generate more impressions than a viewable impression.

Manners stressed we need to look at it as providing better value. “A viewable impression is higher value than a non-viewable impression,” she said.

eBay’s Mansour said it’s only the first step in display media, albeit a very important one. “It’s a catalyst for change which will see a move away from banners to more integrated content that not only provides more value to advertisers but improves the user experience,” he said.

Lead image via ThinkwithGoogle

 

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Kellogg’s Creates AR Halloween Trick Or Treat Experience Via Shazam & Orchard
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Kellogg’s Creates AR Halloween Trick Or Treat Experience Via Shazam & Orchard

Breakfast cereal manufacturer Kellogg’s has joined forces with Shazam and digital agency Orchard to deliver a first-of-its-kind augmented reality (AR) Halloween Trick or Treat experience for families. The campaign, which leverages Shazam’s visual recognition platform and recently-launched AR platform, sees Kellogg’s pilot the replacement of physical gifts in cereal packs with a digital experience that […]

Kraft Heinz Appoints Cummins&Partners As New Creative Agency
  • Advertising

Kraft Heinz Appoints Cummins&Partners As New Creative Agency

Kraft Heinz today confirmed the appointment of Cummins&Partners as its new Creative agency after an extensive pitch process. They will be responsible for brand strategy and integrated creative across the expanding Kraft Heinz portfolio including Kraft, Heinz and Golden Circle. A Kraft Heinz spokesperson said: “After an exhaustive search involving a competitive pitch, we have made […]

Patrick Delany (CEO, Fox Sports), Hugh Marks (CEO, Nine Entertainment Co), Miranda Devine (Columnist, News Corp), Michael Miller (Executive Chairman, News Corp Australasia), Grant Blackley (CEO & Managing Director, Southern Cross Austereo) at Radio Alive 2017
  • Media

Media Bosses Weigh In On Ten-CBS Deal

Do you enjoy articles featuring industry big-wigs? Well, it doesn't come much bigger and wiggier than this, we say.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Kantar TNS’ Ali Dexter Joins T Garage As Director Of Insights & Strategy
  • Marketing

Kantar TNS’ Ali Dexter Joins T Garage As Director Of Insights & Strategy

Melbourne-based market research consulting agency T Garage has announced the appointment of Ali Dexter as its director of insights and strategy. Dexter joins T Garage from Kantar TNS, where she was the director of its Qualitative division. Prior to that, Dexter held a number of senior roles at Kantar TNS in the US and Vietnam.  “After […]

XXXX on Tuesday, March 21, 2017, in Las Vegas. (Jeff Bottari/AP Images for Adobe)
  • Advertising

Adobe Releases Advertising Cloud App

Not one, but two Adobe announcements. The tech elves have been busy this week, not that we're inferring Adobe is Santa.

Facebook Updates Its VR Offering
  • Technology

Facebook Updates Its VR Offering

Do you loathe Facebook for nicking all the ad cash? Well, why not scream "A pox upon you Zuckerberg" while reading this.

InterContinental Perth City Centre Chooses Bonfire To Build Digital Strategy
  • Marketing

InterContinental Perth City Centre Chooses Bonfire To Build Digital Strategy

Luxury hotel InterContinental Perth City Centre is officially set to open this Sunday, and has already taken strides towards developing a comprehensive online search strategy with digital agency Bonfire. The investment reinforces the desire of the hotel to promote its luxury business facilities, which include corporate and bespoke event spaces designed for local, national and […]

Datalabs Announces New Hire And Promotion
  • Marketing

Datalabs Announces New Hire And Promotion

Aussie data visualisation and content marketing analytics agency Datalabs has announced the appointment of Marc de Chellis to run its business development, as well as the promotion of Cass Lilley to accounts and project manager. De Chellis (pictured above, second from the left) joins Datalabs from Launchpad App Development, where he held the role of […]

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • Advertising

Inskin Grows Sydney Team With New Designer

Digital advertising provider Inskin, continues to expand its Sydney team, hiring Marc Gundesen as a junior digital designer. Gundesen (pictured above) brings a breadth of skills in web design, animation and account management, and will report to Inskin’s lead designer, Jay McCalla. He joins Inskin from Budgy Smuggler, where he worked as a graphic designer, […]

Agent99 PR Signs Finance Industry Thought Leader Vanessa Stoykov For TV Show Launch
  • Marketing

Agent99 PR Signs Finance Industry Thought Leader Vanessa Stoykov For TV Show Launch

Independent communications agency Agent99 Public Relations has welcomed respected founder of No More Practice Education and founder and CEO of Evolution Media Group, Vanessa Stoykov, to its client stable. Agent99 will be supporting the launch of her Learn from the Money Masters – The Investment Series show on Channel Nine. Stoykov has over two decades […]

Susie Porter & Jacki Weaver Lend Support To Young Filmmaker In Crowdfunding Campaign
  • Media

Susie Porter & Jacki Weaver Lend Support To Young Filmmaker In Crowdfunding Campaign

A new crowdfunded short film is shining the light on barriers for women filmmakers, thanks in part to Aussie actresses Susi Porter and Jackie Weaver. Starring Porter, Beverly explores a bizarre love triangle in middle-class suburbia. It is an unflinching coming-of-age comic drama exploring sexual awakening in the era of technology, and the universal yearning […]