Viewability: a metric that has become undervalued over time

Viewability: a metric that has become undervalued over time

For the last many years, we cared about vCPM (Cost-per-1000 viewable impressions), especially for brands that care about brand safety AND media effectiveness. But, since the pandemic, we have focused a lot more on performance marketing and our priorities for viewability have decreased since then. 

Few players on the vendor side of the media world had tried to push for attention metrics. But, let's be honest, that didn't stick well in a world where everyone is counting every dollar spent and what the ROI from it is. Despite many studies proving that higher viewability has a stronger relationship with business results and profitability, we continue to ignore the basics of media buying, campaign optimisation and ad effectiveness.

In 2020, I stumbled upon a research paper titled "How Much Ad Viewability is Enough? The Effect of Display Ad Viewability on Advertising Effectiveness". The findings are invaluable, especially knowing that many online ads go unseen by humans, impacting their effectiveness.

Ad viewability, measured by pixel percentage-in-view and exposure duration, is important but its impact on advertising effectiveness is not yet well understood.

This research, using observational data and a randomized online experiment suggests that relatively lower pixel/second combinations (e.g., 50%/1, 50%/5) may generate the highest view-through rates, but longer exposure durations (>10 seconds) and higher pixel percentages (75%/10, 100%/5, 100%/10) also lead to high ad recognition rates.

A push now for "attention" metrics: third time's a charm

Teads and Lumen Research collaborated on a study, analyzing 16 campaigns from 14 advertisers to measure brand lift and attentive time, compared with a non-exposed control group. The study revealed a direct correlation between attention and brand outcomes, with longer engagement periods and higher attention resulting in consistent improvements across the entire funnel, including a 30% lift in lower funnel objectives from exposures of 10 or more seconds.

Few media agency leaders have joined the conversation and highlighted the importance of understanding attention metrics for driving business results. However, we are yet to see marketing leaders from the advertisers and brands taking a strong stance on this.

I'm sending my best wishes to the people who are now pushing the agenda to deliver better ad exposure with attentiveness as a key factor. Here's to aCPM.

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