ComScore has issued more details from its vCE Charter Study, an ambitious research project that examined the “in-view” rates and other attributes of nearly 2 billion impressions from 12 major brands.
ClickZ earlier reported the central finding of the report, that 31 percent of display ads from those brands were not viewable by the end user. Among the other findings, released in a white paper today:
- Ad viewability varied dramatically by site. On one property, 100 percent of ads were in view. On another, only 7 percent could be seen and the rest were wasted, drastically distorting whatever CPM the advertiser may have paid.
- Among ad sizes, the 728×90 Classic Leaderboard scored the best in-view rates, with 74 percent of ads visible, although websites varied widely in performance, from 7 percent to 93 percent viewability for properties using this size. The 300×250 Medium Rectangle format delivered in-view rates of 69 percent, and the 160×600 Wide Skyscraper delivered the lowest at 66 percent.
- There was almost no correlation between the price an advertiser paid and whether or not an ad was in-view. (ComScore’s conclusion from this: “Sites with the ability to garner strong in-view rates are not being compensated fairly.”)
- 72 percent of campaigns had at least some ads served into “non-safe” environments, the definition of which can include adult sites, sites with hate speech, illegal drug websites, spam URLs, and sites pushing questionable software, among others. The actual percentage of impressions in those environments was very small – less than .01 percent. Even so, 92,000 people saw these ads, creating risks for the brand.
- Campaigns targeting a specific age demographic reached that audience with 70 percent of their impressions. ComScore sees a trend away from age targeting, saying most ads were intended for an adult but the specific range was of secondary concern.
- 37 percent of impressions were delivered to audiences with behavioral profiles that matched the brand’s category focus. The more targeting attributes an advertiser layered in, the lower the delivery rate.
Among the participating brands were Allstate, Chrysler, Discover, eTrade, Ford, General Mills, HTC, Kelloggs, Kimberly-Clark, Kraft Foods, and Sprint. A total of 18 campaigns were examined across nearly 3,000 media placements. The total impression was 1.8 billion.
There is a growing movement in the ad industry to shift to a viewable rather than a served ad impression. Last September, the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s 3Ms (Making Measurement Make Sense) initiative called on media buyers and sellers to move to the viewable impression standard.
ComScore is one of several vendors offering measurement solutions geared to in-view impressions. Others include C3 Metrics and RealVu. ComScore launched its solution, called validated Campaign Essentials, after which today’s white paper is named, in January.
Anne Hunter, comScore SVP of advertising effectiveness, notes people have used above- or below-the-fold as a proxy to get to what makes a “viewable ad.”
“The reality is that that is not necessarily a great method for figuring out if you really have viewable impressions,” she said. “There were some places where below the fold was fabulous.”
In one example, she said, a website delivered extremely high in-view rates by presenting both content and articles in 300 x 250 squares.
ComScore took pains to note all the ad impressions studied were delivered in iframes, including what are called “cross-domain” iframes, which have been historically hard to measure.
“We found 61 percent of the time impressions were served in cross-domain iframes. Being able to measure impressions in cross-domain iframes is critical to measuring impression validity,” said Hunter.
We all know that Facebook is a viable source of huge amounts of mobile traffic with relatively cheap CPCs). It’s too good an opportunity to ignore in today’s digital landscape - even if your mobile landing-page experience isn’t up to snuff.
For years, advertisers have tolerated a big elephant in the room: the fact that their digital ads aren't always appearing where they would want them to.
On March 23, ClickZ Intelligence held the webinar ‘The State of Social 2017’ in association with Tracx. As part of the presentation, a huge number of stats and facts were shared about social media. Here are 13 of our favorites.
Deep learning tools are the next major area of AI-based research, and it will spark a wave of future innovation in every industry – bringing a new era of marketing which both advertisers and end-users will benefit from.