InMobi’s Australian chief Jon White has sounded a clarion call to the mobile advertising industry saying that as a united body it needed to stand up and defend itself from being held to a higher standard than other media on viewability.
Speaking at Rubicon Project’s Australia Marketplace Summit earlier this month (and previously reported in B&T), White drew on his 25 years of media agency experience to assert his view that simply because mobile could be measured more effectively, didn’t mean that was a fair comparison to other media.
“I think as an industry we have to be prepared to stand up and back ourselves. On the one hand you’ve got viewability standards being set that say that an ad has to be a 100% in screen for at least one or two seconds depending on the format. And that’s fine – and that makes perfect sense. There must be an opportunity to see the ad.
“But when we start talking about us getting hammered on completion rates … now I bought magazine and newspaper ads for many, many years, and no-one actually told me that I would only paid if they read the whole page, right? The reality is we are being held to a higher standard than other media simply because the technology allows us to. I don’t think we should necessarily allow ourselves to be pigeonholed in that corner.
“No-one can guarantee that a 30 second TVC is being watched all the way through. In most cases we all know people are getting cups of tea, going to the bathroom, shouting at our kids. So the reality is, we on the one hand, want to make sure the technology can ensure that greatest possible return for that advertisement investment. But at the same time not get put into some sort of really arbitrary position where we have to hold a higher standard and it can only commercialise to a higher standard than other media.
“It’s very important as a business – not that viewability and not that all the IAB standards, that Neilsen and all of those things they are doing aren’t incredibly important – but rather those benchmarks don’t become a whipping post for us to get whipped at.”
White also said an education process was necessary so that creative agencies would start giving consumers more appropriate content. In some cases, that meant re-thinking the way stories are told.
“We’re talking to a lot of clients and saying, please don’t give us a 30 second TVC. If you’re going to take a TVC, repurpose it for mobile and repurpose it into maybe a 15 second or shorter and maybe turn it on its head. Start with the end frame, start with the logo. So that even if you don’t get the fourth quartile completion, at least you get a brand exposure, in the first quartile that means that the impression was not completely wasted.”
He also said that in the old fashioned world where a television commercial would set up an idea and then hit you with a sting at the end that closes the gap, delivers the punchline and gives you the logo, that’s not going to work.
“You’ve got to say: Here’s an idea, I’m going to tease you along, and I’m going to try and hold you in that process, as long as I can.” I need to really purpose video for mobile. If we start building better quality short-form content that’s built for short attention span, waiting at a bus stop, sitting on a train kind of environment, consumers will absolutely lap it up I really believe that.