Here's a good article I found that I want to share with you.
The measurement of online advertising is among the biggest topics facing marketers who want to ensure they are paying for ads that can actually be seen. But it isn’t enough just to meet the industry’s latest definition of “viewable.”
New research from IPG Media Lab found that online ads that just meet the Media Rating Council’s minimum threshold for viewability aren’t necessarily effective. However, as an ad’s viewability increases, so does consumer attention and recall of the ad, the study found.
According to MRC viewability standards, a standard banner ad is “viewable” if 50% of the ad’s pixels appear on-screen for at least one second. For a video ad, at least 50% of the ad’s pixels must be in view for at least two consecutive seconds. A “viewable” rich media and large format ad must be 30% in view for one second. The MRC set these standards as a way to set a benchmark for when advertisers should have to pay for an ad.
Some marketers and agencies have pushed back on MRC’s viewability standards, arguing that they don’t go far enough. However, MRC Chief Executive George Ivie said in an email that its viewability guidelines “represent a minimum standard for the ‘opportunity to see’ the ad, they’re not about whether the ad was in fact actually seen or whether the ad’s message was actually received by the user.”
The MRC is working on projects to help standardize metrics that address ad recall and effectiveness, Mr. Ivie said.
The purpose of the IPG Media Lab study wasn't to challenge the MRC’s current standards, but rather to help advertisers create more effective ads given the viewability standards, said the study’s author, Kara Manatt, vice president of consumer research strategy at IPG Media Lab.
To explore the relationship between viewability and ad effectiveness, an online survey included nearly 10,000 participants. The study tested 189 different ad scenarios, representing varying combinations of viewability levels, ad type, logo placement and other factors. Interpublic IPG 0.20 % ’s IPG Media Lab worked on the study with partners Cadreon, an Interpublic-owned programmatic buying unit, and Integral Ad Science.
The study’s participants were shown Web pages that matched their typical consumption habits. The researchers also measured eye movement across some of the pages. All respondents were given a survey afterward to measure the ads’ branding impact.
Not surprisingly, the study found that the more visible the ad, the likelier the consumer was to notice it. But that didn’t guarantee the ad was internalized, the study found.
For ads that just barely met the MRC standard for viewability, 51% of respondents actually looked at the ad but only 17% could recall it later. For ads that well-exceeded the MRC’s standard, 74% of respondents looked at the ad and 32% recalled it.
MRC’s viewability measures focus on both the percent of an ad’s pixels in view and the amount of time it’s in view. But the IPG Media Lab study found that the amount of time consumers have to see the ad was a bigger predictor of effectiveness.
For banner ads to have at least a 25% chance of being recalled, they need to be on-screen for at least four seconds, regardless of how much of the ad is visible, the study found. Larger format ads had to be in view for at least 7 seconds to have at least a 25% chance of ad recall. A video ad had the highest chance of recall when it was 50% to 75% in view for seven seconds.
To have a bigger impact at a lower level of viewability, advertisers should place their ads where they are likely to be viewed for a longer period of time, Ms. Manatt said. In addition, placing a brand’s logo at the top of the ad, having audio on for video ads and placing ads on Web pages that are less cluttered with other ads can also increase effectiveness.
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