Viewability: An In-Depth Review and Overview


An Adotas Q&A with Sublime Skinz‘s Co-Founder, Jerem Febvre (pictured left).

Q: How are marketers increasingly taking viewability into account in their campaign planning and measures for success?

A: A focus on viewability—and now on viewability measurement—has definitely evolved into the mainstream. A recent study that we co-authored with Theorem revealed that 56% of marketers are now using viewability–and specifically VCPM’s– to measure the success of their campaigns.

Q: How has measurement evolved to incorporate viewability?

A: Now that marketers care so much about viewability, they are demanding a measurement standard that incorporates it as well. VCPM has become an increasingly prevalent means to measure the effectiveness of a campaign.

Q: What are the some of the shortcomings/challenges with viewability measurement today?

A: VCPM is a standardized form of measurement. As a result, it has to adhere to agreed upon norms. And those norms mean that certain viewability benchmarks are established—but also that certain types of ad units are and are not included in the measurement. Because the measurement is standardized, the types of units must be too. That leaves a lot still on the table—and a lot of viewable, and very effective, ad units–for marketers to take advantage of that, unfortunately, are not included in VCPM measurement today.

Q: What types of ad units does viewability measurement work best for? Which ones does it not work as well for?

A: Viewability measurement today works great for standard units. Unfortunately, given the fact that measurement standards must apply across lots of campaigns, it is difficult to incorporate non-standard units into the measurement practice, as it exists today. That means that marketers aren’t encouraged—and are actually dis-incented—to use these non-standard units, which may actually be very effective units for them. Marketers are lulled into believing that if their campaign meets certain new viewability standards, their campaign is a success. Unfortunately, that can be pretty short-sighted.

Q: What types of ad units work best for brand marketers and what are the key determinants of their success?

A: Based on the same study we did recently with Theorem, we found that high impact, low intrusive units are the most effective units, when measuring ad unit effectiveness against core brand KPI’s. Specifically, we found that video and large formats (i.e. skins) drive the best results for brand campaigns. These are the ones that perform best against key brand metrics.

Q: Are marketers missing out on more innovative creative opportunities and/or higher performing ad units as a result of measurement limitations?

A: Interestingly, the evolution of the measurement of viewablity—and the standards that have come along with it—has meant that marketers are not using some of the most effective branding units—and those that tend to be the most creative—because they cannot directly prove their effectiveness, or it’s harder to prove their effectiveness. They know people are seeing these types of units, and are responding to them, but they fall off the charts when you start to stack up the ad units used in a campaign against these new, now prevalent, standards.

Q: What other metrics are brands seeking to measure?

A: Sure brands want to be seen. But they also want the tried and true metrics—the time-tested ways to demonstrate campaign and ad effectiveness. They want to know about attention, engagement, brand lift, brand recall, exposure and time spent with an ad.

Q: How would you like to see measurement evolve going forward to better reflect brand needs?

A: For brand measurement to truly serve its purpose, it needs to be aligned with core brand KPI’s. It’s as simple as that. The units that are most successfully delivering against these core KPI’s should be the ones that come out ahead in campaign measurement too. For that to happen, we need to figure out a way to incorporate some of these higher performing—and non-standard ads—into existing measurement approaches.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here